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Diary

Rachel Kushner: Bad Captains, 22 January 2015

... My aspiration​ to spend time at sea as requisite literary training died long ago, as a teenager, on a white-knuckled ferry ride to Elba during a torrential rainstorm. Not only was I seasick, I saw the population on board as hostile competitors to salvation. As the ferry lurched and rolled, we gave one another dirty looks, sized up whose head we would push under the waves to keep our own above the waterline ...

Like China Girls

Naomi Fry: Rachel Kushner, 18 July 2013

The Flamethrowers 
by Rachel Kushner.
Harvill Secker, 400 pp., £16.99, June 2013, 978 1 84655 791 0
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... Telex from Cuba, Rachel Kushner’s first novel, was set in the American colony in Oriente Province in the years leading up to the revolution. It described a place in which many had very little and a few had a great deal: indentured plantation workers and Castro’s rebels but also anxious American housewives, dissatisfied middle-managers and the vulnerable children of mining and sugar-cane executives ...

Suckville

Emily Witt: Rachel Kushner, 2 August 2018

The Mars Room 
by Rachel Kushner.
Cape, 340 pp., £16.99, June 2018, 978 1 910702 67 3
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... of human sweat ionising on stainless steel’, I’m not sure she is staying in character. And Kushner deploys the trick of humanising Romy for readers by making her too someone who likes to read. There are several unnecessary attempts to persuade us not only that Romy is smart, but also that the terms by which we might judge smarts (a salaried ...

Rachel and Her Race

Patrick Parrinder, 18 August 1994

Constructions of ‘the Jew’ in English Literature and Society: Racial Representations, 1875-1945 
by Bryan Cheyette.
Cambridge, 301 pp., £35, November 1993, 0 521 44355 5
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The Jewish Heritage in British History: Englishness and Jewishness 
edited by Tony Kushner.
Cass, 234 pp., £25, January 1992, 0 7146 3464 6
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... delighting her audience with a glimpse of hell. Vashti is easily identified as the tragedian Elisa Rachel, whom Charlotte Brontë had seen in London in 1851. Sarah Bernhardt may be better known today, but it was Rachel who haunted the English literary imagination throughout the 19th century. In James’s The Tragic Muse, the ...

Predatory Sex Aliens

Gary Indiana: Burroughs, 8 May 2014

Call Me Burroughs: A Life 
by Barry Miles.
Twelve, 718 pp., £17, January 2014, 978 1 4555 1195 2
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... by tenured academics and their MFA spawn, Dickensian verisimilitude courtesy of Wikipedia (cf Rachel Kushner, Jonathan Safran Foer et al). Something of this retrograde motion warps American criticism as well. Even today, when subjects Burroughs treated long before anyone else – the surveillance state, the technological engineering of ...

The Age of Detesting Trump

David Bromwich, 13 July 2017

... a lead story by Maggie Haberman, Mark Mazzetti and Matt Apuzzo, headlined in diminishing type: ‘Kushner Is Said to Have Mulled Russia Channel – Trump Tower Meeting – Aim was a Secret Means for Communications During Transition.’ Those lines say all that the story has to say – the channel was never established. But they strung it out to seven short ...

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