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The Long Form

Kate Briggs author


Publisher:Fitzcarraldo Editions

Published:12th Apr '23

Should be back in stock very soon

The Long Form cover

It’s early morning and there’s a whole new day ahead. How will it unfold? The baby will feed, hopefully she’ll sleep; Helen looks out of the window. The Long Form is the story of two people composing a day together. It is a day of movements and improvisations, common and uncommon rhythms, stopping and starting again. As the morning progresses, a book – The History of Tom Jones by Henry Fielding – gets delivered, and the scope of the day widens further. Matters of care-work share ground with matters of friendship, housing, translation, aesthetics and creativity. Small incidents of the day revive some of the oldest preoccupations of the novel: the force of social circumstance, the power of names, the meaning of duration and the work of love. With lightness and precision, Kate Briggs renews Henry Fielding’s proposition for what a novel can be, combining fiction and essay to write an extraordinary domestic novel of far-reaching ideas.

‘An exquisite study of care and attention, The Long Form explores the mysterious, often unbridgeable gulf between daily life and narrative fiction like nothing else.... Written in crystalline prose as tender as it is precise, as clean as it is challenging, this is the most thorough investigation of what the novel, as form, can really do; it asks who or what it is for, how it may or may not interact with our various realities, how it holds time and space and might better equip us to make sense of the world beyond the page. Kate Briggs has created a quietly radical masterpiece.’
— Maddie Mortimer, Goldsmiths Prize judge

‘'[S]ometimes she seems to achieve the impossible, weaving an invisible emotive thread between polemic and experience to powerful effect.... [M]akes for exhilarating reading. There is a sense of new ground being broken.'
— Jo Hamya, The Guardian

The Long Form is gripping, with all the satisfactions of more traditional narratives, albeit in unprecedented places…Reading Briggs, I felt the novel, as a genre, lift its head and look around the room, with all the effort, focus, and luminous curiosity of a newborn, seeing in a way it hadn’t seen before.’
— Audrey Wollen, New Yorker

The Long Form is… an exhilarating experiment in form, an examination of the function of time in the novel, which includes an irresistible graphic element that punctuates the narrative and helps to conjure the stagelike setting occupied by the maternal dyad. Briggs invokes E. M. Forster—“Every novel needs a clock”—and indeed her novel’s timepiece has us on the edge of our seat, turning the pages in anticipation. I finished The Long Form and started again from the beginning; I wanted to understand how this miracle of a book had come to be; I was not ready to let go.’
— Moyra Davey, The Paris Review

‘I got the feeling ... not of interrupting my life by reading it but understanding what it means to interrupt a book with a life. And in this sense the book comes to life in a way none other has for me – not a thing to be consumed but a force exerting its own energy on me.’
— Elisa Wouk Almino, Los Angeles Times

The Long Form is an absorbing and profound novel in which Kate Briggs breathes extraordinary life into the quiet moments of a young woman: one who is also a new mother, a reader, a daughter, a friend. With every carefully weighted sentence, action and thought, one is immersed in the radical generosity of this writing, its principles of collectivity and its feminist commitment to making the smallest, most everyday act worthy of consideration within a literary canon. A beautifully written book about the art of reading, of criticism, and of surviving through the strangest yet most normal of times.’
— Preti Taneja, author of Aftermath

‘Ostensibly about a single day in the lives of a new mother and her infant, The Long Form – with its recursive structure, its subtle connections and reverberations, its attentiveness to physical and social life, and its animated conversation with other works of fiction and theory – presents the novel form as the most elastic of containers. Kate Briggs is a brilliant writer and thinker.’
— Kathryn Scanlan, author of Kick the Latch

‘Kate Briggs treats the quotidian rhythms of Helen and Rose, mother and baby, with unusual attentiveness, perspicacity and, most importantly, largeness of thought. This makes The Long Form a radical, celebratory and quite magical consideration of the profound creative possibilities inherent in, and intrinsic to, everyday experience. It’s such a lively and generous book.’
—Wendy Erskine, author of Dance Move

The Long Form looks at this detail within the context of the structures that surround it, and in doing so Kate Briggs has built a novel that is simultaneously warm and exact, far-reaching and meticulous, generous and wise.’
—Saba Sams, author of Send Nudes

‘Briggs is a fantastic writer: that is clear by the end of this eminently strange novel…Briggs has written a work that will constantly reward a re-reading, with a voice that combines a deep complexity with moments of piercing clarity. It is an intelligent and well-read book: but it is also emphatically convincing and moving.’
— Patrick Maxwell, The Big Issue

‘[T]his is a novel on novel-ness, both of the new baby and the new possibilities for form. Briggs’s project is to try and break the novel and unfurl this transcendent vision where each element and character, however minor and tangential, is equally important…. [Let] there be trumpets, heralding Briggs and the possibilities of this long form.’
— Jennifer Kabat, 4Columns

‘[The Long Form] offers another form of protest, a call to action. Let us be enacted upon by other bodies – human, non-human, literary, all. Let us stretch and lunge, affect one another’s rhythms, converse with cultural histories, interrupt those histories, burst open doors, and, with all the care, softness, and curiosity that any new life might inspire, expand and deepen.’
— Georgie Devereux, The Rumpus

‘Kate Briggs’s This Little Art shares some wonderful qualities with Barthes’s own work – the wit, thoughtfulness, invitation to converse, and especially the attention to the ordinary and everyday in the context of meticulously examined theoretical and scholarly questions. This is a highly enjoyable read: informative and stimulating for anyone interested in translation, writing, language, and expression.’
— Lydia Davis, author of Can’t and Won’t (Praise for This Little Art)

‘I have been thinking, many weeks after having finished it, of Kate Briggs’s truly lovely This Little Art, a book-length essay on translation that's as wry and thoughtful and probing as any book I’ve read in the past year. My favourite works are those in which one feels the writer wrestling with genre even as she is writing; Kate Briggs does this with her own kind of magic, never failing to write beguilingly and intelligently and passionately about the little art of translation, which in the end shows itself to be not so little, at all.’
— Lauren Groff, author of Matrix (Praise for This Little Art)

ISBN: 9781804270325

Dimensions: unknown

Weight: unknown

480 pages