‘Last year I lost my cat Gattino. He was very young, at seven months barely an adolescent. He is probably dead but I don’t know for certain.’
So begins Mary Gaitskill’s stunning book-length essay, the closest thing she has written to a memoir. Lost Cat begins with the story of how Gaitskill rescued a stray cat in Italy and brought him to live with her in the US, where he went missing.
As she explores the unexpected trauma of her loss, Gaitskill describes how she came to foster two siblings, Caesar and Natalia, a pair of inner-city children who spent summers and holidays with Gaitskill and her husband. The joys and ultimate difficulties of this relationship leads to a searing examination of loss, love, safety and fear. Gaitskill applies her razor-sharp writing to her most personal subjects yet.
‘Mary Gaitskill’s sharpness and singular honesty are in evidence in Lost Cat.’ – Guardian, Biggest Books of Autumn 2020
‘Gatiskill’s self-portrait feels resolutely honest rather than flattering…But what she describes – the relentless human hope that love can fix what has gone before – can be recognised by us all.’ – Times
‘An arresting meditation on the nature of love.’ – Observer