From the Booker-shortlisted author of The Mars Room, a career-spanning collection of spectacular essays about politics and culture.
Rachel Kushner is a writer celebrated for her 'chops, ambition, and killer instinct' (John Powers, Fresh Air). In The Hard Crowd, she gathers a selection of her writing from over the course of the last twenty years that addresses the most pressing political, artistic, and cultural issues of our times - and illuminates the themes and real-life terrain that underpin her fiction.
In nineteen razor-sharp essays, The Hard Crowd spans literary journalism, memoir, cultural criticism, and writing about art and literature, including pieces on Jeff Koons, Denis Johnson, and Marguerite Duras. Kushner takes us on a journey through a Palestinian refugee camp, an illegal motorcycle race down the Baja Peninsula, 1970s wildcat strikes in Fiat factories, her love of classic cars, and her young life in the music scene of her hometown, San Francisco. The closing, eponymous essay is her manifesto on nostalgia, doom, and writing.
These pieces, new and old, are electric, phosphorescently vivid, and wry, and they provide an opportunity to witness the evolution and range of one of the world's most dazzling and fearless writers.
The Hard Crowd is wild, wide-ranging and unsparingly intelligent throughout.
One of America's most exciting writers . . . A brilliant collection of art and literary criticism, reportage, and autobiography.
She writes as well as any writer alive about the pleasure of a good motor doing what it was designed to do . . . Cool and wise, with real power and control . . . This book has a real gallery of souls . . . As strong a statement about artistic purpose and sensibility as I've read in a while.
She seems to work with a muse and a nail gun, so surprisingly yet forcefully do her sentences pin reality to the page.
I honestly don't know how she is able to know so much (about motorcycle racing, Italian radical politics) and convey all of it in such a completely entertaining and mesmerizing way.
Celebrated for her razor-sharp novels, now the author is releasing her first essay collection, The Hard Crowd. She talks to Kate Wyver about near-death experiences, partying with the Stones and refusing to be the 'moral centre' of her work.
Books and Christmas go hand in hand for Icelanders. A country famous for its love of books and storytelling, Iceland has a uniquely rich literary heritage. Svanborg Þórdís Sigurðardóttir, a bookseller at Reykjavík’s famous Penninn Eymundsson bookshop, tells us what it’s like to work as a bookseller in Iceland at Christmas.