Rachel Kushner

"A lot of politics in art is just institutional critique, which, in my opinion, is not all that political."

Rachel Kushner is among America’s most exciting writers. Her novels and essays explore contemporary art, culture, revolutionary politics, modernism, and feminism with unmatched wisdom and grace.

She has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award and is a Guggenheim Fellow. Her fiction and essays appear regularly in The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Believer, Artforum, Bookforum, Fence, Bomb, and Grand Street. Rachel’s first novel, Telex from Cuba, intertwines revolution in 1950’s Cuba and visceral human interactions with a revelatory, deft hand. In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews called it “Soundly researched and gorgeously written.” A New York Times bestseller and a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, it was also a winner of the California Book Award.

Her incendiary work, The Flamethrowers, was a finalist for The National Book Award and was named one of the Top Ten Books of the year by The New York Times. It is celebrated as a modern classic. Rachel’s work continues to garner acclaim among her contemporaries like few other authors in recent history. In their review The New York Times proclaimed, “…her prose has a poise and wariness and moral graininess that puts you in mind of weary-souled visionaries like Robert Stone and Joan Didion.”

Rachel’s latest, The Mars Room, is an intense, unforgettable, and heartbreaking story set in a California women’s prison. The novel delivers a necessary critique of the judicial system as well as an attack on the prison-industrial complex. The New York Times calls The Mars Room, “A major novel, a sustained performance, one that broods on several exigent ideas.” Rachel crafts a holistic depiction of who gets wrapped up in incarceration – families, lawyers, police, and prisoners, written with a skilled voice that is filled with pathos, love, and humanity.

Rachel will publish her new collection, The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020, in 2021.

Writers' Confessions - Rachel Kushner Discusses the Writing Process


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