biography of x

Read Biography of X by Catherine Lacey

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.

Who knew reading the biography of a dull and supremely unlikeable person, who doesn’t even exist, would be so gripping.

I was definitely more taken with the world-building than I was with the characters. I don’t mind a boring narrator, I even think this one was pretty cool in how she was boring – it’s just hard to see this bigger-than-life subject of the biography being incredibly bland and arrogant the entire time without the reader ever really understanding what made her the acclaimed genius that she seems to be.

And a small thing that really bothers me: the name-dropping of people who existed and who did not ask to be included in this.

All in all an interesting read, but one of those books where I close them and think « there’s probably fanfiction better than the source material somewhere, right? ».

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