Kushner in 2015
|Born||1968 (age 51–52)|
Eugene, Oregon, USA
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley (B.A.)|
Columbia University (MFA)
Kushner was born in Eugene, Oregon, the daughter of two scientists whom she has described as "deeply unconventional people from the beatnik generation." Her mother arranged after-school work for her straightening and alphabetizing books at a feminist bookstore when she was 5 years old, and Kushner says "it was instilled in me that I was going to be a writer of some kind from a young age." Kushner moved with her family to San Francisco in 1979.
When she was 16, she began her Bachelor's in Political Economy at UC Berkeley with an emphasis on US foreign policy in Latin America. Kushner lived as an exchange student in Italy when she was eighteen; upon completing her Bachelor of Arts, she lived in San Francisco, worked at nightclubs, and rode a Moto Guzzi. At 26, she enrolled in the fiction program at Columbia University and she earned her MFA in creative writing in 2000. One of her influences is the American novelist Don DeLillo.
Kushner's first novel, Telex from Cuba, was published by Scribner in July 2008. She got the idea for her novel after completing her MFA in 2000, and she made three long trips to Cuba over the six years it took her to write the book. Telex from Cuba was the cover review of the July 6, 2008 issue of The New York Times Book Review, where it was described as a "multi-layered and absorbing" novel whose "sharp observations about human nature and colonialist bias provide a deep understanding of the revolution's causes." Telex from Cuba was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award. Kushner's editor is Nan Graham.
Kushner's second novel, The Flamethrowers, was published by Scribner in April 2013. Vanity Fair hailed it for its "blazing prose," which "ignites the 70s New York art scene and Italian underground." In The New Yorker, critic James Wood praised the book as "scintillatingly alive. It ripples with stories, anecdotes, set-piece monologues, crafty egotistical tall tales, and hapless adventures: Kushner is never not telling a story... It succeeds because it is so full of vibrantly different stories and histories, all of them particular, all of them brilliantly alive." The Flamethrowers was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award. "The Flamethrowers" was named a top book of 2013 by New York Magazine, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, O, The Oprah Magazine, New York Times Book Review, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Vogue, Wall Street Journal, Salon, Slate, Daily Beast, Flavorwire, The Millions, The Jewish Daily Forward, and Austin American-Statesman.
After completing her MFA, Kushner lived in New York City for eight years, where she was an editor at Grand Street and BOMB. She has written widely on contemporary art, including numerous features in Artforum.
Awards and honors
- 2018 National Book Critics Circle Finalist
- 2018 Man Booker Prize Shortlist
- 2018 Prix Médicis Etranger winner
- 2016 Harold D Vursell Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters
- 2015 Telluride Film Festival (42nd Guest Director)
- 2014 Folio Prize shortlist for The Flamethrowers
- 2013 Honorary PhD from Kalamazoo College
- 2013 Guggenheim Fellow
- 2013 National Book Award (Finalist)
- 2008 National Book Award (Finalist)
- Telex from Cuba (2008)
- The Flamethrowers (2013)
- The Strange Case of Rachel K (2015)
- The Mars Room (2018)
- de Rosee, Sophie. "Author Rachel Kushner talks to Sophie de Rosee about childhood, marriage and Don DeLillo". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- Miller, M.H. "Revolution Blues: Rachel Kushner's New Novel Examines Rebellion, Both Real and Staged". observer.com. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- Kunzru, Hari. "BOMB—Artists in Conversation: Rachel Kushner". bombmagazine.org. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- "Telex from Cuba (Kushner) - Author Bio". litlovers.com. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- "Rachel Kushner". ndbooks.com. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- "Kushner, Rachel". id.loc.gov. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- Ulin, David L. "Rachel Kushner lights a fire in 'The Flamethrowers'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
- Timberg, Scott. "Breathing literary life into '50s Cuba". latimes.com. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- "National Book Awards - 2008". National Book Foundation. Retrieved September 22, 2013.
- Cokal, Susan (July 6, 2008). "Livin' La Vida Local". The New York Times.
- "Board of Directors". centerforfiction.org. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- James Wood, "Youth in Revolt," The New Yorker, April 8, 2013.
- National Book Awards - 2013. National Book Foundation. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
- "Rachel Kushner News".
- The Mars Room. 2018-05-01. ISBN 9781476756554.
- "The Man Booker Prize for Fiction Names Its 2018 Shortlist". publishingperspectives. 2018-09-20. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
- Author Page on Simon & Schuster website
- Rachel Kushner: ‘Having children complements the making of art’ The Guardian
- Dave McNary, "Rachel Kushner Set as Telluride Film Fest Guest Director", Variety, March 31, 2015.
- "The 2014 Folio Prize Shortlist is Announced". Folio Prize. 10 February 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
- Gaby Wood (10 February 2014). "Folio Prize 2013: The Americans are coming, but not the ones we were expecting". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
- "Kalamazoo College Graduation".
- "Guggenheim Fellow Rachel Kushner".
- Short stories unless otherwise noted.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rachel Kushner.|
- Review of The Flamethrowers in The New Yorker
- Review of Telex from Cuba in The New York Times
- Review of Telex from Cuba in The Washington Post
- Feature on Telex from Cuba in Los Angeles Times
- Review of Telex from Cuba in The Seattle Times
- Feature on Telex from Cuba in Time Out New York
- Review of Telex from Cuba in Bookforum
- Excerpt from Telex from Cuba published in The New York Times
- Interview with The Paris Review