RavePublishers WeeklyGaitskill\'s style is gorgeously caustic and penetrating with a homing instinct toward the harrowing; her ability to capture abstract feelings and sensations with a precise and unexpected metaphor is a squirmy delight to encounter in such abundance ... It is hard to convey the tragedy of a girl in the prime of her beauty who savors the ugly way she experiences herself; it is more wrenching, and more in keeping with the gimlet-eyed clarity of the book\'s earlier pages, to convey the tragedy of the truly ugly woman, who once, despite her demurrals and insecurities, knew beauty.
RaveThe New YorkerI want to say her stories are ‘brave,’ but that sounds blurby and false; maybe it’s more useful to describe The Vanishing Princess as an artist’s sketchbook, a space where play and adventure are privileged over snoozy competence and sheen, a preference that seems in keeping with the authentically renegade life Diski, as a person, led … Diski calls attention to the ways in which women are taught to doubt their cognitive journeying through quotidian space, while also authentically investigating how personally restricting, in the end, such involuted mental spirallings might be. Diski’s strength is her ability to critique her own critique, but from a position of self-awareness.
RaveThe New York Times Sunday Book Review\"While the narrator is rarely alone, reading Outline mimics the sensation of being underwater, of being separated from other people by a substance denser than air. But there is nothing blurry or muted about Cusk’s literary vision or her prose: Spend much time with this novel and you’ll become convinced she is one of the smartest writers alive. Her narrator’s mental clarity can seem so hazardously penetrating, a reader might fear the same risk of invasion and exposure … While we hear almost nothing but her voice, we rarely witness her using it. She is not only disembodied from her life — her children, back in London, do not regularly preoccupy her — she feels to be without a body, neutered…By freeing the narrator of a body, the novel allows readers to accept a more complex portrait of a person — a self instead of a set of gender stereotypes. The result is a heartbreaking portrait of poise, sympathy, regret and rage.\
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewIn Gratitude collects like metal filings around these two magnetic points — the functional end of Diski’s life as a writer, and the functional beginning of it, due to [Doris] Lessing’s 'rush into kindness' and mentorship ... Diski is not condemning Lessing for her behavior. She is seeking, in these final moments of her own life, the fullest possible understanding of a woman who represented, despite her prickliness and remove, the closest thing she had to a family. Diski courageously and persistently speaks what many might deem unspeakable ... Diski proves again and again her spectacular originality in her ability to empathize with as well as profess a total failure to comprehend the mind of another human being. These pages are evidence of her undiminished aptitude, even while her body was on the wane, to vigorously inhabit and investigate emotional spaces that shift and change shape as her sentences accrue ... Diski’s final book proves transcendently disobedient, the most existence-affirming and iconoclastic defense a writer could mount against her own extinction.