The Hard Crowd

The Hard Crowd

Essays 2000–2020

Summary

*A NEW STATESMAN BOOK OF THE YEAR 2021*

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.

'An exciting book... she writes from the inside out and gives us the true story, the real deal.' Kevin Barry, New Statesman 'Books of the year' 2021

Reviews

  • The Hard Crowd is wild, wide-ranging and unsparingly intelligent throughout.
    Vogue

About the author

Rachel Kushner

Rachel Kushner is the author of The Mars Room, which was shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize. Her previous novels, Telex from Cuba and The Flamethrowers, were both New York Times bestsellers and finalists for the National Book Award. Her fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s and the Paris Review. She lives in Los Angeles.
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