literary journalism

Lily King’s ‘Writers & Lovers’

In Lily King’s portrait of the artist as a young woman, Casey is a 31-year-old aspiring author living in late-1990s Massachusetts. She waits tables at an upscale restaurant to pay the bills, which include payments on a crippling $73,000 of debt. “I have a pact with myself not to think about money in the morning,” the book opens. “I’m like a teenager trying not to think about sex.”

Money isn’t the only thing Casey has to push out of her mind to work on her manuscript[, Love and the Revolution]. She is grieving her mother, who died suddenly while on holiday with friends. She is also tending to a broken heart after the end of an affair with a poet she met at an artists’ residency shortly after her mother’s death: “In the morning I ache for my mother. But late at night it is Luke I mourn for.” We watch as Casey engages with two new suitors: Oscar, a 47-year-old novelist with two young sons, and Silas, a fellow literary aspirant her age. Each man is mourning a loss of his own—Luke has lost a child, Oscar is a widower, and Silas is grieving his sister.

Absence is a pervasive theme in King’s work…

Read the full article online in the Irish Times

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