The Hard Crowd
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. * Vogue *Best Books to Read in 2021* * She's going to be one we turn to for our serious pleasures and for the insight and wisdom we'll be needing in hard times to come. -- Robert Stone 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. -- George Saunders She seems to work with a muse and a nail gun, so surprisingly yet forcefully do her sentences pin reality to the page. -- Kathryn Schulz * New York Magazine * Kushner can really write. Her prose has a poise and wariness and moral graininess that put you in mind of Robert Stone and Joan Didion. This wariness lurks beneath a sensibility that's on constant alert for crazy, sensual, often ravaged beauty. -- Dwight Garner * New York Times * One of America's most exciting writers . . . A brilliant collection of art and literary criticism, reportage, and autobiography. * Daily Telegraph *
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