Rachel Kushner: Postcards from America

‘Clarice Lispector had a diamond-hard intelligence, a visionary instinct and a sense of humour that veered from naïf wonder to wicked comedy.’ This snapshot of the great Brazilian writer is from an essay in Rachel Kushner’s book The Hard Crowd – but it is also a neat summary of Kushner herself. Across her three novels to date – Telex From Cuba, The Flamethrowers and The Mars Room – Kushner has explored aspects of US colonialism, art, activism, inequality and incarceration. She would almost certainly laugh at the notion of the Great American Novel; nevertheless, the poise, fearsome intelligence and political astuteness of her books demonstrate that Kushner is one of the finest chroniclers of the USA’s rollercoaster post-war era. She brings the same qualities to bear on the essays collected in The Hard Crowd. Kushner’s writing is simultaneously tender and razor-sharp. In this event, filmed live at the 2021 Edinburgh International Book Festival, she discusses her ideas with fellow author Colm Tóibín. 

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