True Life Nude is the third part of Suki the life-model’s autobiographical trilogy. It is still in production but proof copies will be available at the Suki Project open studios exhibition.
A Small Life and Two Small Lives are the first two parts of Suki’s life-story. At the opening of this final part of the trilogy Suki has escaped to Berlin to try and pick up the threads of her former seventeen-year relationship with Ilka. Despite Suki’s recent ‘success’ as a writer (the modest publication by a small press of her first novel) she must still work as a jobbing life-model to make ends meet.
From what has Suki ‘escaped’? Well – the trauma of a stillborn child, followed by a distractingly riotous fling with dominating control-freak Tamara: zany and fun – but a BDSM relationship didn’t look anywhere near as safe as…
So will Berlin be the answer? Resorting to the manageable familiarity of a passionless relationship in order to write? Having to work for artists (German ones this time) to get money? Has Suki attained her dream? The pot of gold? The realisation of her raison d’etre?
And if so then why, with her literary agent keenly awaiting her next manuscript, is it proving impossible to get down to it?
If Berlin is not Suki’s final destination, then what next?
Here the writer is laid bare to her bones, then she is pared back further to the very heart of what it means to be human. This is a captivating story about a quixotic quest to find meaning through writing and poetry and art, even as the world is falling apart. Suki is a hero for our times.
Apart from being well-written, moving, smart, funny, I can’t remember the last time I read anything so interesting. It absolutely feels and reads like an important piece of writing.