Picture of author.

Rachel Kushner

Author of The Flamethrowers

17+ Works 4,068 Members 198 Reviews 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 show more 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) show less

Includes the name: Rachel Kushner

Image credit: Littoral

Works by Rachel Kushner

The Flamethrowers (2013) 1,577 copies
The Mars Room: A Novel (2018) 1,458 copies
Telex from Cuba (2008) 680 copies
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016 (2016) — Editor — 108 copies
Yoshitaka Amano (2002) — Essay — 16 copies
The Mayor of Leipzig (2021) 6 copies
Soft Targets: V.2.1 (2007) 4 copies
The Great Exception (2007) 1 copy
Alev Puskurtenler (2014) 1 copy
Malina 1 copy

Associated Works

The Border Trilogy (1999) — Introduction, some editions — 1,527 copies
We Want Everything (1988) — Introduction, some editions — 141 copies
Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation (2017) — Contributor — 118 copies
The Best American Essays 2017 (2017) — Contributor — 115 copies
The Decameron Project: 29 New Stories from the Pandemic (2020) — Contributor — 108 copies
Fourteen Days: A Collaborative Novel (2022) — Contributor — 92 copies
The Lover/Wartime Notebooks/Practicalities (2017) — Introduction — 30 copies


1970s (20) 2013 (18) 2014 (15) 2018 (30) 21st century (29) American (29) American fiction (19) American literature (57) ARC (14) art (33) audiobook (17) Booker Prize Shortlist (16) California (32) contemporary fiction (18) crime (18) Cuba (84) ebook (26) essays (32) fiction (444) first edition (14) historical fiction (41) Indiespensable (21) Italy (46) Kindle (36) literary fiction (29) literature (33) motorcycles (25) New York (30) New York City (19) non-fiction (15) novel (82) own (19) prison (49) read (27) short stories (15) signed (24) to-read (476) unread (21) USA (35) women (20)

Common Knowledge



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.
… (more)
elkiedee | 5 other reviews | 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 other reviews | Sep 13, 2023 |
I enjoyed the hell out of this quirky novella. It's ~super existential,~ original, and it made for such a fun reading experience.
cbwalsh | Sep 13, 2023 |
Mcdede | 67 other reviews | Jul 19, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Cate Malek Contributor
Molly Brodak Contributor
Anthony Marra Contributor
NR Kleinfield Contributor
Inara Verzemnieks Contributor
Mateo Hoke Contributor
Yuko Sakata Contributor
Kyle Boelte Contributor
Anna Kovatcheva Contributor
Kendra Fortmeyer Contributor
Da'Shay Portis Contributor
Mark Hitz Contributor
Laurel Hunt Contributor
Rebecca Makkai Contributor
Sam Sax Contributor
Marilynne Robinson Contributor
Dan Hoy Contributor
Ariana Reines Contributor
Jesse Ball Contributor
Sharon Lerner Contributor
Michele Scott Contributor
Jason Little Contributor
David Wagoner Contributor
Dana Spiotta Contributor
Gary Indiana Contributor
Adrian Tomine Contributor
Michael Pollan Contributor
Xuan Juliana Wang Contributor
Lidwien Biekmann Translator
Charlotte Strick Cover designer


Also by
½ 3.7

Charts & Graphs