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Biography of X
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
From one of our fiercest stylists, a roaring epic chronicling the life, times, and secrets of a notorious artist. When Xan iconoclastic artist, writer, and polarizing shape-shifterfalls dead in her office, her widow, wild with grief and refusing everyones good advice, hurls herself into writing a biography of the woman she deified. Though X was recognized as a crucial creative force of her era, she kept a tight grip on her life story. Not even CM, her wife, knew where X had been born, and in her quest to find out, she opens a Pandoras box of secrets, betrayals, and destruction. All the while, she immerses herself in the history of the Southern Territory, a fascist theocracy that split from the rest of the country after World War II, as it is finally, in the present day, forced into an uneasy reunification. A masterfully constructed literary adventure complete with original images assembled by Xs widow, Biography of X follows a grieving wife seeking to understand the woman who enthralled her. CM traces Xs peripatetic trajectory over decades, from Europe to the ruins of America's divided territories, and through her collaborations and feuds with everyone from Bowie and Waits to Sontag and Acker. And when she finally understands the scope of Xs defining artistic project, CM realizes her wifes deceptions were far crueler than she imagined. Pulsing with suspense and intellect while blending nonfiction and fiction, Biography of X is a roaring epic that plumbs the depths of grief, art, and love. In her most ambitious novel yet, Catherine Lacey, one of our most acclaimed literary innovators, pushes her craft to its highest level, introducing us to an unforgettable character who, in her tantalizing mystery, shows us the fallibility of the stories we craft for ourselves.
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review
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Pickpick

Wow, what a fascinating masterpiece beautifully performed in #audiobook by Cassandra Campbell. A fictional biography that is just as much about its author (the subject's widow) as it is about X, the magnanimous subject. An incredibly real and thoroughly built alternative US history as setting, a charismatic and volatile artist, a laisse faire bisexual normative world, and queering of format/archives. Intellectually mesmerizing, thought-provoking.

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kwmg40
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Pickpick

There was a lot that I liked about this book: the alternative history of the US, the obsessive personalities, the slow revealing of X's secrets, and the exploration of the characteristics of “art“.

I'm surprised that this didn't make the Tournament of Books shortlist (but glad it was included in #LitsyToB24). It seems just the sort of book that makes for good ToB discussion.
@squirrelbrain @Megabooks @BarbaraBB

Ruthiella I was really glad to experience this one too! 😃 3mo
Megabooks This was a top 23 of 23 for me. Glad you enjoyed it, too! 3mo
See All 6 Comments
Librarybelle Another great review! 😁 3mo
squirrelbrain I really enjoyed this one, and I‘m glad it made our tournament. 3mo
kwmg40 @Ruthiella @Megabooks @squirrelbrain @Librarybelle Thanks for your comments! I'm looking forward to seeing the discussion on this book when it comes up in the tournament. 3mo
56 likes6 comments
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Bookwormjillk
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Pickpick

This fictional book about a widow looking into her wife‘s past reads like a true crime podcast. The middle dragged though and that kept it from becoming a love instead of a like. #LitsyTOB24

Megabooks Glad you enjoyed it! 4mo
Ruthiella I also enjoyed the mystery aspect of it. 👍 4mo
BarbaraBB You‘re right: it felt like a podcast! 4mo
squirrelbrain Great review! 3mo
62 likes4 comments
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Ruthiella
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Pickpick

At first I found it pretentious and stilted but the story grew on me and I found myself curious to know what would happen next. Set in an alternate history America, the widow of X tries to unearth her (in)famous wife‘s history and learns secrets that make her question her relationship. Was she just another person to be used and subsequently discarded by X?

#LitsyToB24
#The52BookClub24 - grieving character
#pop24 - book about a writer

sarahbarnes Great review! 4mo
azulaco I‘ve been curious about this one. 4mo
BarbaraBB Great review indeed! I think you ended up liking it more than me 4mo
See All 8 Comments
squirrelbrain Great review - and well done for sticking with it when you weren‘t sure. 4mo
Ruthiella @sarahbarnes Thanks 😊 4mo
Ruthiella @azulaco Give it a try! It seems to be a kind of love it or hate it kind of thing. 4mo
Ruthiella @BarbaraBB I think I did like it more than you did. I found it ultimately very compelling, despite my less than positive start. 4mo
Ruthiella @squirrelbrain Thanks! I‘m glad I stuck with it too. 4mo
78 likes8 comments
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perfectlywinged
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Excited to start this literary fiction about a woman who sets out to write a bio of her late wife and unearths secrets

14 likes1 stack add
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Bookwormjillk
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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A sure sign of spring coming from my audiowalk earlier today.

(This book started strong but now it‘s slowing down.)

Tamra What?! Where are you? Here in MN we have had reports of ticks already - which is insane! (edited) 4mo
Bookwormjillk @Tamra Northern Virginia. I can‘t believe you have ticks already! We might get snow next week but not much kills the dandelions once they decide to grow… 4mo
AnnCrystal 💕🌱💝. 4mo
See All 7 Comments
Tamra @Bookwormjillk still, seems so early! Normally I rejoice at the first dandelions. 😆 4mo
maich I have snowdrops on my garden. Spring is already here🙂🌷🍀 4mo
Bookwormjillk @Tamra yes, too early. I‘m not ready to say goodbye to winter yet. 4mo
UwannaPublishme I need Spring now! Too much rain here. 🌼🌼🌼 4mo
67 likes7 comments
review
BarbaraBB
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Pickpick

#LitsyToB24 I am ambivalent about this one. I love books about art, Siri Hustvedt being the absolute master, yet in this book I didn‘t feel it. I could not feel the art and its meaning. Also I kind of hated X and her attitude toward the narrator, who let her get away with anything. And the book is way too long Yet I loved the language, the format, the notes and the dystopian context. I‘ll have to think about it a bit more. A light pick

Megabooks Very interesting thoughts on this one, B! 💜💜 4mo
Ruthiella I‘m about 60% done and liking it more than I thought I would, but I do see your points. 4mo
See All 20 Comments
TrishB This is still on the pile! 4mo
Suet624 I felt exactly the same way about this one. In fact I eventually bailed. I love the author but this one just didn‘t work for me. 4mo
Librarybelle I like the print on the wall in the background! 4mo
BarbaraBB @Librarybelle Thanks! It is an oldie, an affiche for women voting rights 4mo
BarbaraBB @Suet624 Of course we agree 😀 though I never really connect with Lacey. 4mo
squirrelbrain I really liked this one but, like @Ruthiella , I can see all of your issues with it. 4mo
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella @squirrelbrain I can see why it would totally work for both of you and many others! 4mo
Hooked_on_books It was a light pick for me, too. I thought the dystopian setting she created was fantastic, but X was so talented in every way that she stopped being believable for me. 4mo
brittanyreads Ooo! Former Art major here 🙋‍♀️ I am always on the hunt for intriguing art fiction. Thanks for the recommendation! Double points that it's also dystopian 👍👍 4mo
BarbaraBB @brittanyreads you‘re welcome! Please do read this one too if you haven‘t already 4mo
BarbaraBB @brittanyreads Hustvedt really makes art come to life. Also in this one: 4mo
batsy Super intriguing review! I was really interested to read it until it was getting raves everywhere, then my inner contrarian had to rebel against the hype and then I forgot about it. Now your review is making me want to read it 😆 4mo
brittanyreads Wonderful! Thank you for the recs! 4mo
BarbaraBB @batsy Thanks! I do think it‘s your kind of book 😀 4mo
sarahbarnes You have an really interesting perspective on this one! I really liked it, but I‘m not as knowledgeable about art as you. 4mo
BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes The art descriptions felt a bit off too me indeed. I was sorry I didn‘t love it as much as you did 4mo
sarahbarnes I liked hearing your thoughts on it though! 💕 3mo
83 likes1 stack add20 comments
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fredthemoose
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️ I liked this more than expected, but I expected to LOATHE it, so not a high bar. Woman (Pulitzer winning journalist, actually) goes on a quest to set things right after an unauthorized biography is published about her iconoclastic artist late wife and gets more than she bargained for/comes to terms with ways her wife was a jerk. Setting is in an alternate reality US. Very creative and great narration but too long. Read for #LitsyToB24

squirrelbrain Well, I‘m glad you didn‘t loathe it! 🤣 4mo
Suet624 I like most of her books but I wasn't thrilled with this one. 4mo
batsy I've been kinda afraid of trying this. I also feel like I might dislike it, although I do find the idea intriguing at the same time. 4mo
See All 10 Comments
fredthemoose @batsy I think I‘m predisposed to dislike a character who refers to herself as X. It helped that the story was told from the POV of her wife who was taking in puzzling and unflattering info and who also didn‘t like her all the time. It was impressively creative. It was between a soft pick and a so-so, but apparently I was feeling fussy. 4mo
fredthemoose @squirrelbrain I totally went in predisposed to be a brat to this book! 😂 There was a lot about it that was good, but it just wasn‘t quite my thing. Glad I read it, but if not for #LitsyToB24 I probably wouldn‘t have started or finished. 4mo
fredthemoose @Suet624 This was my first from her. She‘s a great writer. This was done well, it just wasn‘t really to my taste. 4mo
Megabooks I loved this, but I definitely seem to be in the minority. I did appreciate how all X‘s actions were based on the actions of real artists and musicians. 4mo
fredthemoose @Megabooks oooh, I didn‘t put that together… very interesting. 4mo
fredthemoose @Megabooks I think I may be getting a little fiction fatigue. I‘m usually about 2:1 or 3:1 nonfiction:fiction. I feel like I have to work harder to follow and understand fiction, and know less about where it‘s going and what characters will do, and I think I‘m getting a little fussy as a result. 4mo
Megabooks In the print version, there‘s an index that notes the pieces or interviews she took inspiration from. I think that made it more interesting to me. Usually I‘m about 60/40 fiction/NF, but I‘m having trouble following fiction as well, especially on audio, right now, so it‘s reversed so far in 2024. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I‘m just rolling with it! 😂 (edited) 4mo
54 likes10 comments
review
BkClubCare
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Pickpick

Biography of X is an eclectic mashup of alternative history, art culture, mixed media, and…. Is it love? Or obsession 🧐

C leaves husband for crazy ultra self-important artist X and when X dies, C takes off on a crusade to defend her relationship with X. She finds out much more than she can wrestle with. Does it matter?

I‘m actually quite impressed with what all the author does in telling this extraordinary story.

#ToB2023LongList #LitsyToB24

BkClubCare Copper assisting #DogsofLitsy 5mo
sarahbarnes Glad you liked it! 5mo
BkClubCare Check out the author‘s site! Yowza 😳 https://www.catherinelacey.com 5mo
Megabooks Same! I loved this! 5mo
42 likes4 comments
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BkClubCare
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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“I found several pages of handwritten notes, picking apart a single essay that the writer Elvia Wilk published in Future Looks Magazine just weeks before the retrospective opened.”

#NameDrop #TOBmoment 2020

Ruthiella Got your card today. Thank you! 😊 5mo
BarbaraBB That is cool! 5mo
See All 6 Comments
BkClubCare @Ruthiella Got YOUR card today! Thank you ☺️ 5mo
BkClubCare @BarbaraBB - so much made up stuff (yes, I have been googling! And then… “hey, she is a REAL person…” 😆 ) 5mo
BarbaraBB I am very curious about this book! 5mo
23 likes6 comments
blurb
BkClubCare
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Up next! I have had SO many books come off hold and I either missed the pickup date (my library charges $1 for this 😱) or I have checked it out only to toss it into the return bin on the way out of the building! I feel overwhelmed. Do tell me if this is not on our #ToB list?!? And I will chuck it to #maybesomedaybutnotnow status.

Liz_M It's part of the #LitsyToB24 shortlist! 5mo
sarahbarnes I loved this one! 5mo
BkClubCare @Liz_M THANK YOU for confirming this - I was having a day and was on a single-thread-only (couldn‘t interrupt the ON task to verify!) I thought so, and I appreciate this. 😊 5mo
See All 9 Comments
BkClubCare @sarahbarnes - cool! 😎 5mo
Larkken They charge for not picking up holds?! Oh gross. I‘d have to stop going to the physical library lol 5mo
BkClubCare @Larkken - I don‘t mind supporting the library with a few dollars but, yeah! I have one there today that I won‘t be able to get because of an out of town funeral. And I forget to call to tell them. I had all day yesterday but I forgot 🤦🏻‍♀️ 5mo
Larkken @BkClubCare agreed! I like supporting the library but I don‘t need more reasons to beat myself up for being absentminded haha 🫣😅 5mo
BkClubCare @Larkken - “Congratulations! Your true devotion to the library by forgetting to pickup your book calls for applause!!”👏 5mo
Megabooks I‘m sorry I didn‘t confirm! I hope you enjoy this one. It‘s one of my favorites of the year. 🙌🏻🙌🏻 5mo
35 likes9 comments
review
Jas16
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Pickpick

As many have already said, this #Tob24 longlister is way too long. It is still a pick because when it was at its best I was riveted by this story of a widow researching the life of her famously secretive artist wife to set the record straight after a posthumous biography is published without her consent. Set in an alternative history, the more she learns the more she realizes she doesn‘t know about her wife or their marriage.

squirrelbrain Great review! 6mo
Chelsea.Poole Yes, great review and excellent view! 🌲 6mo
46 likes2 comments
review
Chelsea.Poole
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Mehso-so

A very non-fiction seeming novel, Biography of X is a fictional biography of the author, artist, and mystery of a woman known as X. Written by her wife, CM, after X‘s death the work spent on the biography uncovers much of the deceptions of their marriage. CM interviews many people from X‘s past and readers encounter an alternative history of the US, in which part of the nation is a theocracy, where X was born. Too long but thought provoking.

Chelsea.Poole Read right before the #tob24 long list came out. (edited) 6mo
See All 11 Comments
Suet624 I felt the same way about this one. 6mo
Ruthiella I‘ve never read any Catherine Lacey books and want to try at least one. (edited) 6mo
Megabooks Too bad. I loved this one! I especially loved how she used real art/stories from musicians and visual artists. It was definitely thought provoking! 6mo
Megabooks @Ruthiella they‘re all really different from each other. I loved this one, but I also enjoyed the one I‘ll tag that was recommended by MANY Littens! (edited) 6mo
sarahbarnes Agree with @megabooks that all her books are so different. I really loved Pew and this one as well. I‘m sorry it didn‘t quite work for you. 6mo
Chelsea.Poole @Ruthiella @Megabooks @Suet624 @sarahbarnes I‘ve had Pew on my list forever it seems, just never have gotten around to it. I still plan to! This wasn‘t exactly a miss for me, but I did lose patience with it at the 60% mark. Maybe a physical book would have worked better than audio, and though I do have a copy to page through for illustrations, I mainly listened. 6mo
Suet624 Pew is 🔥🔥🔥 6mo
BarbaraBB I willl read this one soon and haven‘t heard of Pew so I‘ll check that one out too. I did enjoy 6mo
80 likes11 comments
review
AnneCecilie
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Pickpick

After her wife‘s, X, death and the publication of her biography, a biography with many inaccuracies and faults, our protagonist decides to find out more about her wife through interviews, starting with where she was born.

Somewhere our protagonist says: “Other people‘s memories of my wife had clouded my own by then, which perhaps had been the point all along - not to see her more clearly, but to understand I never knew her in full.”

AnneCecilie I feel that this is the focus of the book. How well do we know the people in our life? And how well can you actually know someone, And how we all have different selves depending on who we are with. Most of us won‘t change as radically as X with wigs, hair color, background and makeup, but we all change who we are as we grow older. 9mo
SamAnne Very much hope to get to this one in September. 9mo
DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳Excellent review! Stacked📚🤓 9mo
AnneCecilie @SamAnne A reader‘s dilemma - how to read all the books 😊 9mo
64 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Cinfhen
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Mehso-so

A book within a book, a blending of fact & fiction, an alternate United States, cool photos and yet by the final 50 pages, I had enough😬 A mysterious artist known by the symbol “X” dies leaving her widowed wife to realize how little she really knew of the woman she was married to. When an unauthorized biography is released she sets out to set the record straight.
This leads her on a quest to discover who was X??? Super glad I went print!

TrishB Thanks for tagging 👍🏻 I will definitely get to but not calling me yet. 10mo
Cinfhen I‘ll be curious to hear what you think of it @TrishB 10mo
squirrelbrain Great review! 10mo
See All 13 Comments
Cinfhen Did you read it @squirrelbrain ? Also have you read her other novel 10mo
squirrelbrain I did read it, Cindy, and like it a lot more than you did. It‘s one of those books though that, had I read it a slightly different time, I might not have enjoyed. #rightbookrighttime I haven‘t read Pew yet. 10mo
Cinfhen @Megabooks loved it too @squirrelbrain but I honestly felt like it was unnecessarily long! I felt that way about 3/4 books I read this week. I think my adult patience is tiring 🙄 10mo
squirrelbrain Did you like Pew more? 10mo
Cinfhen I haven‘t read it yet either @squirrelbrain but I was wondering if I‘d like it🤷🏼‍♀️ 10mo
BarbaraBB Great review. I must really read it. It sounds like my kind of book! 10mo
Megabooks I‘m sorry you didn‘t enjoy this one. I‘ve read all of hers except Pew. It‘s on my library wishlist. 10mo
Cinfhen I can see why you loved it @Megabooks it‘s VERY CLEVER and an incredible amount of talent to blend so much fact & fiction. But it was slightly pretentious and it started to feel repetitive and never ending. I just ran out of interest. 10mo
Centique @Cinfhen i was similar Cindy in that i enjoyed it but i didnt really connect with the characters. Pew is COMPLETELY different. A much simpler story. (IMO) 10mo
Cinfhen Good to know @Centique I‘m hoping to borrow in the coming weeks 10mo
70 likes1 stack add13 comments
review
squirrelbrain
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Pickpick

What a fascinating read… 🧐

The X of the title is a mysterious shape-shifting artist / writer; when she dies her widow decides to write her biography.

I loved the dystopia; it felt really close, like it could really happen. I didn‘t love the portrayal of X, she felt a bit too good to be true, too good at everything to be ‘real‘, which detracted from other parts of the book.

Another book that would have made for great #camplitsy discussions.

TrishB I will get to soon(ish). 12mo
Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻 12mo
BarbaraBB Fantastic review! I‘ll read it soon. 12mo
See All 6 Comments
sarahbarnes Great review. I did love this one, but I know what you mean about X. I was completely enamored by the structure of the book. 12mo
Hooked_on_books I agree 100%! After a while I started rolling my eyes about X. She was just too much. But what a great dystopia! 12mo
Megabooks Great review! I love how she pulled all of X‘s life from other artists though. 12mo
80 likes6 comments
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Pinta
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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^^p17 making fiction=sacred

Personhood, creative identity, control

P18 “‘A biography,‘ she wrote in a letter to her first wife, ‘would be an insult to the way I have chosen to live. It‘s not that I am a private person; I am not a person at all.‘”

P108 “It was a reminder of the enormous paradoxes in a religious worldview that holds as much dazed and romantic hope as it does fatalism”

180 “now I am busy, so busy, day and night, ruining my life.”

review
Pinta
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Mehso-so

Novel as biography. Art of crafting persona, escaping the past, personal mythology. Grief. Worshipful love. Living with partner‘s hidden past, accepting & perhaps relishing mystery. Confidence or pretentiousness? Artist X feels manipulative & phony, not fascinating. Friends w/ persona crafters like Bowie, Kathy Acker, Tom Waits. Liz Gilbert describing Rayya Elias. Pulled me in, then lost me. Alternate history. Endnotes! Who tells your story? 2023

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Hooked_on_books
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Pickpick

I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, Lacey has created a dystopia that is such a fantastic social commentary on our current moment that I want to shout it to the stars. On the other hand, she has made the character of X so extra that she speeds right past believability into eye rolling territory. I‘ll give it a pick for the brilliance of the dystopia, but it‘s a low pick.

squirrelbrain Interesting review…😁 I just borrowed this from the library. 12mo
Hooked_on_books @squirrelbrain I can‘t wait to see what you think of it! 12mo
Centique I loved the dystopia also and was driven along by curiosity but felt quite disengaged from the characters - your point about X being so extra makes sense, that was probably why. 12mo
Hooked_on_books @Centique No one is that many things or that good at basically everything they try. When someone challenged her to write a novel in a super short period of time and she did and was lauded for the book by critics but with no writing history, that‘s when the tide started to turn for me. 12mo
58 likes4 comments
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Aimeesue
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Ahhh, the art world. It‘s very weird. Not sure whether I should be amused, horrified, or despairing for the soul of humanity here.

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Aimeesue
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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I may use this some day. “For ineffable reasons, I simply cannot.”

Aims42 🤣🤣🤣 I love this!! 12mo
dabbe “For ineffable reasons“ or even for “effen ones“ ... this should be framed behind glass and posted forever. 💙🤣💚 12mo
Leftcoastzen Wow, I feel that way before I get out of bed!😄 12mo
See All 12 Comments
batsy Lol ... Perfect! 12mo
Aimeesue @Aims42 Great, right? 12mo
Aimeesue @dabbe 😂😂😂 12mo
Aimeesue @Leftcoastzen Sometimes that feeling lasts alllllllll day.😂 12mo
Aimeesue @batsy Right? It‘s so very Bartleby the Scrivener. 😄 12mo
SamAnne Oh, I can't wait to get to this one! 12mo
dabbe @Aimeesue OMB, I thought the same thing! “I prefer not to.“ 🤣🤣🤗 12mo
Aimeesue @SamAnne It‘s really good. 12mo
Aimeesue @dabbe Yes! 😂 12mo
49 likes12 comments
blurb
Aimeesue
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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I love the way Lacey pulls in cultural reference points. Unlike this one, many are skewed due to the secession of the Southern Territories and the ensuing fascist theocracy. Horrifying thought, but quips like this are also making me laugh.

26 likes1 stack add
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Aimeesue
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Absolutely loving this one. I read Pew last year, and X has many similar themes: the dystopian in the everyday, the societal need/demand to define and categorize people and what happens when an individual refuses to be defined, or defined in "suitable" categories. And the South secedes (and rejoins, eventually,) so there‘s that.
Thought provoking.

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TrishB
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Little outing to Dead Ink Books today 😁 not at all influenced by Litsy, nope….

Tamra Ohhhh, I so want to read Still Born. 13mo
squirrelbrain No, definitely not Litsy‘s fault! 😇 13mo
BarbaraBB Yay! Still born is good and I want to read X too! 13mo
TrishB @Tamra @squirrelbrain @BarbaraBB definitely a blame it on Litsy! 13mo
87 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
Erinreadsthebooks
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Bailedbailed

Idk, I have to set it down. Maybe if I pick up something else, I‘ll discover if it‘s me or the book or the season of life or the inability to concentrate hard enough to read this book. (Page 180/364 😩)

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she.hearts.horror
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Pickpick

It is better to cut than to tear. —- X

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Erinreadsthebooks
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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I almost put this book down for good around p.55, but I‘m so glad I didn‘t. There‘s a really interesting embellished historical element that I wasn‘t expecting but am thoroughly enjoying.

SamAnne Just picked this up from the library and have been hesitant about diving in. 13mo
24 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
sarahbarnes
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Pickpick

Wow wow wow. The brilliance of Lacey‘s new novel really cannot be overstated. After finishing it I still feel immersed in the story, walking around in a fog. The bending of fact and fiction, both in the story and as a trait of X, the physical and psychological journey of her widow as she writes her book, the spine-tingling feeling of X being slowly revealed, to her and to us. Just wow. Could not recommend more highly.

Suet624 Catherine Lacey is now a must read author for me. Once I get through my library books I'm going to search for this one. 14mo
SamAnne Just picked this up from the library! 14mo
Aimeesue I‘m looking forward to this one! Thanks for the review 14mo
See All 21 Comments
Ruthiella Yet another author who is usually TOB longlisted where I‘ve not read anything but mean to try! (edited) 14mo
sarahbarnes @SamAnne @Aimeesue I hope you like it! Looking forward to your thoughts when you get to it. 14mo
sarahbarnes @Suet624 I really loved Pew. I liked The Answers but not quite as much. I want to read her others now! 14mo
sarahbarnes @Ruthiella I really loved Pew as well! 14mo
Suet624 You and I agree on how we felt about pew and answers. 😊 14mo
jlhammar I loved Pew. Really looking forward to this one! 14mo
sarahbarnes @Suet624 👯‍♀️😁 Have you read Nobody is Ever Missing? I haven‘t but I‘m interested. (edited) 14mo
Suet624 No, I haven‘t read that one. For some reason I passed on that one. 14mo
Reggie Wow, you and @Centique have me hyped for this. I can‘t wait. 14mo
sarahbarnes @jlhammar I did too! 14mo
sarahbarnes @Reggie really looking forward to hearing what you think when you get to it! 14mo
BarbaraBB Okay that‘s a no brainer. You and @Megabooks reviews are too convincing! 14mo
BarbaraBB I read Nobody is ever missing upon its publication. I remember liking it but not much else 🤷🏻‍♀️ 14mo
batsy Great review! I'm in the same situation as @Ruthiella 🙂 But this and recent Litsy reviews of Pew have me excited. I have had her debut TBR too 🙈 14mo
sarahbarnes @BarbaraBB I do want to read that one now. I really think you‘ll like this! 14mo
sarahbarnes @batsy I want to read her debut now! I really loved Pew and liked The Answers. And this one blew me away. 😊 14mo
BarbaraBB I bought a copy today 🤦🏻‍♀️ 14mo
sarahbarnes 💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽 Can‘t wait to hear what you think when you get to it @BarbaraBB ! (edited) 14mo
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review
Centique
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Pickpick

This is a hard book to review because it is so unusual. It‘s going to be interesting to see if it keeps me thinking over time.
This is something of a “concept” book. Fiction written as in the style of non fiction which also reflects the characters skewing of reality. C, the widow of an avant- grade artist/author named X is researching her deceased wife. X tried on many personalities and disguises and it has always been unclear what was “real”. ⬇️

Centique The book follows Cs research process and her own grief and reflections. As we progress we realise the world C and X live in is a different version of America with a different history. Figures we know - Bernie Sanders, David Bowie - appear but some things have changed. These dystopian elements are not fully explained, they‘re presented as widely understood, and I found these fascinating. ⬇️ 14mo
Centique I felt little to no connection to the characters but the ideas are intriguing. I enjoyed much of it but got a little tired of it towards the end. 14mo
Centique @Reggie it is NOTHING like Pew! 14mo
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Suet624 This author is always intriguing to me. 14mo
Centique @Suet624 it‘s definitely intriguing! I think discussing it with someone else would really add to the experience. I‘m reading some GR reviews now which are stimulating new ideas about it for me ☺️ 14mo
Reggie I‘m excited for this. I like these “I need to talk this out,” kinda books. Glad you liked it. 14mo
Centique @Reggie I think you are going to see all kinds of connections and parallels I missed! 14mo
sarahbarnes Great review! I loved Pew and I have this one waiting at the library for me. Your description is very intriguing. 14mo
SamAnne This is waiting at the library for me. 14mo
Centique @sarahbarnes @SamAnne I hope you both enjoy reading it and I‘d love to hear your thoughts when you‘re done. 14mo
Megabooks I just finished this as well. I love how she fictionalized a lot of these interviews/stories from real artists‘ lives/work and the alternate history US she created was really compelling for me. 14mo
Centique @Megabooks I found all of that fascinating too. There is art and books and history mentioned/created in here that I‘d love to see and know more about! Lacey‘s mind is a fascinating place. 14mo
sarahbarnes Update - I loved it. 😁 I agree with your thoughts on it as well as @megabooks. Brilliant all around. I think the best book I‘ve read so far this year. 14mo
Centique @sarahbarnes yay! I keep thinking about it myself and I think I could reread it and get more from it second time around 😊 14mo
sarahbarnes Yes! I‘m thinking I might buy a copy so I can look back at it/reread it. 14mo
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blurb
Megabooks
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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I didn‘t feel like writing reviews tonight, but I did stop by the library to pick up this eagerly anticipated book and saw some beautiful blossoms! So lucky to have a library in my neighborhood. 🤩

@Reggie is this on your TBR?

Reggie I read an article on this book and it sounds crazy lol. But yes it is because I liked Pew and The Answers. You 1y
Cinfhen Book sounds great!!! And a walk to the library sounds even better!!! 1y
Reggie Did u like it? 1y
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batsy I feel like this is the first time where every review of the novel has confused me lol. Re: what's real and what's not. Sounds very ambitious! Look forward to your thoughts. 1y
Megabooks @Reggie I just picked it up last night and have a short story collection to finish first. I liked The Answers as well as this. I haven‘t read Pew yet. 1y
Megabooks @Cinfhen it‘s great that it‘s only a mile away!! 1y
Megabooks @Reggie I‘ve read states. This is my current unfinished collection. 1y
Megabooks @batsy I know! I‘m a bit worried, but I love to challenge myself too! 1y
BarbaraBB Wow that blossom is fantastic. Spring is in the air! 1y
Megabooks @BarbaraBB totally!! I hope spring is coming In Amsterdam too! 1y
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blurb
jlhammar
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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New bookmarks! I was reminded that we‘ll have a new Catherine Lacey soon (tagged, out March 21). I thought her previous novel, Pew, was very good so looking forward to it.

Bookpearl I absolutely love this magazine and have had a hard time finding it! 😩 Definitely will have to do a subscription. 1y
RowReads1 😍 1y
jlhammar @Bookpearl I subscribed a few years back and always look forward to finding a new issue in my mailbox! 1y
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