Rachel Cusk’s Outline is a novel in ten conversations that follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing over an oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her students in storytelling exercises. She meets other visiting writers for dinner. She goes swimming in the Ionian Sea with her neighbor from the plane. As the people she encounters speak volubly about themselves-their fantasies, anxieties, pet theories, regrets, and longings-a portrait of the narrator is drawn by contrast, a portrait of a woman learning to face a great loss.