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Rachel Kushner

Autor(a) de The Flamethrowers

18+ Works 4,103 Membros 200 Críticas 5 Favorited

About the Author

Rachel Kushner's debut novel, Telex from Cuba, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her second novel, The Flamethrowers, was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013. Her fiction and essays have mostrar mais appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Believer, and Grand Street. She made the Bestseller List in 2018 with her title, The Mars Room. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Includes the name: Rachel Kushner

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Obras por Rachel Kushner

The Flamethrowers (2013) 1,589 exemplares
The Mars Room: A Novel (2018) 1,473 exemplares
Telex from Cuba (2008) 680 exemplares
The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000–2020 (2021) 144 exemplares
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016 (2016) — Editor — 109 exemplares
The Strange Case of Rachel K (1656) 68 exemplares
Yoshitaka Amano (2002) — Essay — 16 exemplares
The Mayor of Leipzig (2021) 6 exemplares
Creation Lake 4 exemplares
Soft Targets: V.2.1 (2007) 4 exemplares
Malina 1 exemplar
The Adolescents 1 exemplar
The Great Exception (2007) 1 exemplar
Alev Puskurtenler (2014) 1 exemplar
Kushner Rachel 1 exemplar
Les routiers sont sympas (2021) 1 exemplar

Associated Works

The Border Trilogy (1999) — Introdução, algumas edições1,536 exemplares
Fourteen Days: A Collaborative Novel (2022) — Contribuidor — 160 exemplares
We Want Everything (1988) — Introdução, algumas edições143 exemplares
Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation (2017) — Contribuidor — 122 exemplares
The Best American Essays 2017 (2017) — Contribuidor — 119 exemplares
The Decameron Project: 29 New Stories from the Pandemic (2020) — Contribuidor — 111 exemplares
The Lover/Wartime Notebooks/Practicalities (2017) — Introdução — 32 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



“People who are harder to love pose a challenge, and the challenge makes them easier to love. You're driven to love them. People who want their love easy don't really want love.”

The book opens with two motorcycle rides decades and continents apart. Valera is part of an Italian motorcycle unit during WWI when he kills a German soldier with a motorcycle headlight. Decades later he will go on to form the Valera motorcycle and tyre company. Decades the novel's main character Reno, 23 years old and weirdly guileless, rides a Moto Valera motorcycle through her home state of Nevada.

Reno's moves to a listless New York in the late 1970s in the hope of turning her fascination with motorcycles and speed into successful art career. There she finds prostitutes, drunks, and "Sorry, no credit" signs in the bars but her arrival also coincides with an explosion of artistic activity as artists begin to colonise the old deserted industrial areas of the city. Reno soon finds herself drawn in to a world of poseurs, dreamers and raconteurs, and becomes the lover of a successful artist who is also the estranged youngest Valera son. Reno is invited to visit Italy and the Valera factory but when she travels to the country with her lover she finds herself embroiled in bitter familial disputes, worker strikes and radicals linked with the Red Brigade. Unfortunately she later returns to New York.

This novel is a first-person narrative with minimal plot interspersed with a few third-person documentary-style chapters about Valera, founder of the Moto Valera company, that fail to really lift the whole. The most successfully section takes place in Italy, in particular at the family home of Reno's aristocratic boyfriend, Sandro. Here, Kushner portrays the rich with a sort of cruel delight. Unfortunately she later returns to New York and its poseurs.

'The Flamethrowers' is thematically ambitious. Kushner attempts to link early- and late-20th-century movements in art and political activism but fails to really achieve it. The novel starts well but sadly drifts in the middle and she fails to really pull it back afterwards. Maybe the book would have been better if it had been given a third-person narrative but in the end I found none of the characters particularly engaging and along with most modern art I found them pretentious and facile. I didn't hate this book but it didn't really interest me either.
… (mais)
PilgrimJess | 82 outras críticas | Apr 13, 2024 |
Last thoughts as I closed the book were “huh?”...as I proceeded to tear up. Did I understand the point to the book? No, but the ending was still incredibly sad to me. Everything was written very well. I love the characters, I love the storylines, but nothing connected. It was almost like this was a book of a few short stories but instead of reading one short story at a time, you read a little bit from each story in every other chapter. I kept waiting for it to “click“, for some connection to be made but that never happened. So I don’t want to give this book a bad score because overall I really enjoyed the stories, but I can’t give it a five because I don’t really understand the point to the book and that irritates me.… (mais)
jbrownleo | 68 outras críticas | Mar 27, 2024 |
A collection of articles/essays written over a 20 year period. The acknowledgements reveal that most were previously published in some form in an impressive range of literary journals and magazines, but have been revised.

The pieces include memoir, travel, and pieces on literature and other culture. I enjoyed the memoir pieces and was quite startled by some of them. Between motorbike races and hanging out with biker friends, bar work (including stints at some very famous music venues in San Francisco, and travel), it's quite surprising that this woman found time to study to postgraduate level, and establish a writing career including these pieces and three novels.

I found the first couple of articles especially memorable

- Girl on a Motorcyle about being part of a group of young people involved in quite scary and dangerous long distance motorbike races

- We Are Orphans Here - about a visit to Shuafat Refugee Camp, East Jerusalem, in 2016, a place rarely visited by outsiders, some of the difficulties the occupants face and their opinions

I also liked pieces on American writer Denis Johnson and Nanni Balestrini (Italy) - I've only read one book by Balestrini, in a rather difficult experimental style (assuming the translation reflected the original). Made to Burn was originally published in a journal, and I don't know if the images there were produced in colour - here they are in black and white. This is a discussion of some of the images that inspired Kushner's second novel about Italy in the 1970s, The Flamethrowers. All of these and several other pieces make me want to read further, some time soon.

An intriguing and thought provoking collection.
… (mais)
elkiedee | 5 outras críticas | Oct 25, 2023 |
Overall I think this collection suffers from being a bit uneven, but luckily there are more bangers than duds. While I enjoyed her essays on literary and art criticism, I much preferred Kushner's essays on her life and personal experiences.

Favorites: Girl on a Motorcycle, We Are Orphans Here, Made to Burn, Is Prison Necessary?, and The Hard Crowd.
cbwalsh | 5 outras críticas | Sep 13, 2023 |



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