Rachel Kushner’s first novel, Telex from Cuba, is set in Oriente, Cuba, in an expat community funded by the United Fruit Company and a nickel mine, during the years leading up to Castro’s revolution. Of the book, the New York Times wrote, “Out of tropical rot, Kushner has fashioned a story that will linger like a whiff of decadent Colony perfume.”
Her second novel, The Flamethrowers, is set mostly in the mid-1970s and follows the life of Reno, so named for her place of birth, a young artist who comes to New York intent on marrying her love of motorcycles, speed, and art. The title takes its name from weapons used by the Italian Arditi, a division of elite shock troops that operated during the First World War.
Kushner has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award and is a Guggenheim Fellow. Her fiction and essays appear regularly in the New York Times, the Paris Review, The Believer, Artforum, Bookforum, Fence, Bomb, and Grand Street.