LITERATURE

Coventry: Essays

Farrar. Aug. 2019. 256p. ISBN 9780374902728. $27. LIT
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Readers who enjoy thoughtful writing will appreciate this collection of previously published essays by Whitbread Award–winning novelist (“Outline” trilogy) and memoirist (A Life’s Work) Cusk. These works are strongest when the Canadian-born writer, who grew up in Los Angeles and now lives and works in the UK, focuses on family: marriage, separation, parenting, adolescence, and home. “Lions on Leashes” concentrates on Cusk’s cautious pride in her daughters as they mature. “Making Home” compares the domestic styles of friends and relatives and lessons learned that Cusk is passing on to her children. “On Rudeness” dips readers’ toes into America’s political climate after the 2016 election. The volume concludes with critical insights into works from Shakespeare to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Elizabeth Gilbert.
VERDICT These 17 essays are sassy, honest, and memorable. Readers will come away with numerous “aha” moments.

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