Biography of X
From one of our fiercest stylists, a roaring epic chronicling the life, times, and secrets of a notorious artist.
When X―an iconoclastic artist, writer, and polarizing shape-shifter―falls dead in her office, her widow, wild with grief and refusing everyone’s 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 Pandora’s 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.
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About the Audiobook
"[A] staggering achievement . . . [a] masterpiece about the slippery nature of art, identity, and truth."
―Adrienne Westenfeld, Esquire
"Breathtaking in its scope and rigor, this unforgettable novel pushes contemporary fiction to dizzying heights. A triumph."
―Kirkus, starred review
"An audacious novel of art and ideas . . . The author also perfectly marries her [character's] history with her study of a shape-shifting artist, with X refashioning herself both to escape her ultraconservative homeland and to build a vehicle for her creative expression. This is brilliant."
―Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A tour-de-force in literary and artistic realms, this engrossing story of breakaway artist X will challenge readers on many levels."
―Library Journal, starred review
"Lacey's tale is a lovely meditation on not only the mysteries of grief and love but also the equally mysterious ways of the creative process."
"I'm not sure I know another novel that manages to be so many books at once: a biography revealing masks beneath masks and faces beneath faces, a quest narrative unsure of what it's seeking, an impossibly ambitious parable about art and the enigma of others, an alternate history of America that serves as an X-ray of our own fractured country. Biography of X is a profound novel about love and what it can license, about the toll―and maybe the con―of genius. Only Catherine Lacey could have written it."
―Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness and What Belongs to You
"Biography of X is the most ambitious book I’ve ever read from a writer of my own generation. Epic world-building revealed through intimate emotion and dangerously honed sentences; a story that mixes fact and fiction to create a new register of truth, a register that belongs entirely to Catherine Lacey. I'm awed."
―Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby
"Biography of X is a triumphant high-wire act: all the breadth of a 19th century classic with the propulsiveness of a psychological thriller. I stayed up too late, wishing to uncover X's secrets alongside the narrator."
―Sara Nović, author of True Biz