Rachel Cusk: Biography

Rachel Cusk

08 feb 1967

Rachel Cusk is an award winning British novelist and writer. Her most recent novel, Outline (2014), was shortlisted for the Folio Prize, the Goldsmith’s Prize, and the Bailey’s Prize. Saving Agnes (1993) won the Whitbread First Novel Award, and The Country Life (1997) won the Somerset Maugham Award. Her novel, Arlington Park (2006) was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction (2007), and The Lucky Ones (2003) was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award (2003).

Born in Canada, Cusk is the daughter of parents who left England to escape postwar Herfordshire for an adventure. Their family moved to California where they lived until she was eight. When she was eleven, they moved back to England where they continued to move often. Rachel Cusk’s health suffered in England due to asthma and allergies. She completed her education at St. Mary’s Convent School in London and read English at New College, Oxford. In 2003, Cusk was nominated by Granta magazine as one of 20 ‘Best of Young British Novelists’.

In addition to her novels, Cusk has also published non-fiction books, and most recently, a modern twist on Shakespeare’s Medea (which was performed at the Almeida in London in fall 2015). Cusk draws upon personal experience for all of her work. Her non-fiction work encompasses the joy and mystery of early motherhood, through her tragic divorce. It includes A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother (2001), The Last Supper: A Summer in Italy (2009), and Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation (2012).

Rachel Cusk is divorced from her second husband, photographer Adrian Clarke. They have two daughters.