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Cusk reveals almost nothing about her narrator, a novelist who’s spending a week in Athens teaching a writing course. But gradually, through conversations with various figures—a Greek bachelor who takes her sailing, contemplative fellow writers, her eager students—glimpses of her story emerge: She’s divorced, for instance, with two children. There’s no traditional plot, simply this portrait of the novelist that takes shape entirely during these brief exchanges. Cusk’s restrained, almost experimental prose is really not so much a novel as a meditation on identity, illusion, and the erasure of self that can occur during a marriage. A-