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Biography of X
Biography of X by Catherine Lacey
by ​Catherine Lacey

First Edition.
Price: $28.00


New York, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (March 21, 2023)

Hardback. First Edition

As new in decorated boards.

"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

From one of our fiercest stylists, a roaring epic chronicling the life and secrets of a notorious artist.

When X—an iconoclastic artist and shape-shifter—falls dead in her office, her widow CM, wild with grief, hurls herself into writing X's biography. Though X was recognized as a crucial creative force of her era, she kept a tight grip on her life story. In CM's quest to unravel it, she opens a Pandora’s box of secrets 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 X's widow, Biography of X CM as she traces X’s 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 X’s defining artistic project, CM realizes her wife’s deceptions were far crueler than she imagined.

Pulsing with suspense and intellect, Biography of X is a roaring epic that plumbs the depths of grief, art, and love. In her most ambitious novel yet, Catherine Lacey 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.

Catherine Lacey is the author of the novels Nobody Is Ever Missing, The Answers, and Pew, and of the short-story collection Certain American States. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. She has been a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, The Believer, and elsewhere. Born in Mississippi, she is based in Chicago, Illinois.

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