Literary Birthday – 8 February – Rachel Cusk

Happy Birthday, Rachel Cusk, born 8 February 1968.


  1. As writers go, I have a skin of average thickness. I am pleased by a good review, disappointed by a bad. None of it penetrates far enough to influence the thing I write next.
  2. That’s writing for you: when you make space for passion, it doesn’t turn up.
  3. For me, a novel is always the result of my attempt to impose myself on raw circumstances. It is a concrete form of lived experience.
  4. Honest criticism, I suppose, has its place. But honest writing is infinitely more valuable.
  5. There is always shame in the creation of an expressive work, whether it’s a book or a clay pot. Every artist worries about how they will be seen by others through their work. When you create, you aspire to do justice to yourself, to remake yourself, and there is always the fear that you will expose the very thing that you hoped to transform.
  6. Every time I write a book, I’ve probably taken five years off my life.
  7. A sentence is born into this world neither good nor bad, and that to establish its character is a question of the subtlest possible adjustments, a process of intuition to which exaggeration and force are fatal.
  8. Writing, more than any other art, is indexed to the worthiness of the self because it is identified in people’s minds with emotion.
  9. What other grown-up gets told how to do their job so often as a writer?

Rachel Cusk is a Canadian-born novelist and writer who lives and works in the United Kingdom. She is the Whitbread Award–winning author of two memoirs, including The Last Supper: A Summer in Italy, and seven novels, including Arlington Park, Saving Agnes, and Outline.

Source for quotes: A-Z
Click here for a photograph: Jaime Hogge

 by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 8th February 2018