Olivia Laing

Olivia Laing

Olivia Laing is the author of four acclaimed works of non-fiction, To the River (2011), The Trip to Echo Spring (2013), The Lonely City (2016) and Everybody (2021). Her first novel, Crudo, was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller and won the 2019 James Tait Memorial Prize. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2018 was awarded a Windham-Campbell Prize for non-fiction. Her work has been translated into 19 languages.

Laing writes on art and culture for many publications, including the Guardian, Financial Times and New York Times. Her collected writing on art, Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency, was published in 2020. She lives in Suffolk.


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Darkness had completely descended onto the landscape and I stood up and stretched my arms above my head and I wondered what it would be like if it were a perfect world. Only god knows. And he is dead

Close to the Knives

David Wojnarowicz

A river passing through a landscape catches the world and gives it back redoubled: a shifting, glinting world more mysterious than the one we customarily inhabit. Rivers run through our civilisations like strings through beads

To the River

Olivia Laing

Loneliness, I began to realise, was a populated place: a city in itself. And when one inhabits a city, even a city as rigorously and logically constructed as Manhattan, one starts by getting lost

The Lonely City

Olivia Laing

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