Cover art for The Mars Room

The Mars Room

35 ratings


Featuring original music by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon!  From twice National Book Award-nominated Rachel Kushner, whose Flamethrowers was called "the best, most brazen, most interesting book of the year" (Kathryn Schulz, New York magazine), comes a spectacularly compelling, heart-stopping novel about a life gone off the rails in contemporary America.  It's 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women's Correctional Facility, deep in California's Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision.  Stunning and unsentimental, The Mars Room demonstrates new levels of mastery and depth in Kushner's work. It is audacious and tragic, propulsive and yet beautifully refined. As James Wood said in The New Yorker, her fiction "succeeds because it is so full of vibrantly different stories and histories, all of them particular, all of them brilliantly alive." 

©2018 Rachel Kushner (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

Narrator: Rachel Kushner
Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Flamethrowers

The Flamethrowers

5 ratings


The year is 1975 and Reno - so-called because of the place of her birth - has come to New York intent on turning her fascination with motorcycles and speed into art. Her arrival coincides with an explosion of activity in the art world - artists have colonized a deserted and industrial SoHo, are staging actions in the East Village, and are blurring the line between life and art. Reno meets a group of dreamers and raconteurs who submit her to a sentimental education of sorts. Ardent, vulnerable, and bold, she begins an affair with an artist named Sandro Valera, the semi-estranged scion of an Italian tire and motorcycle empire. When they visit Sandro’s family home in Italy, Reno falls in with members of the radical movement that overtook Italy in the seventies. Betrayal sends her reeling into a clandestine undertow.

The Flamethrowers is an intensely engaging exploration of the mystique of the feminine, the fake, the terrorist. At its center is Kushner’s brilliantly realized protagonist, a young woman on the verge. Thrilling and fearless, this is a major American novel from a writer of spectacular talent and imagination.

©2013 Rachel Kushner (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Available on Audible
Cover art for Telex from Cuba

Telex from Cuba

1 rating


Finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction. The debut novel by New York Times best-selling author Rachel Kushner, called “shimmering” (The New Yorker), “multilayered and absorbing” (The New York Times Book Review), and “gorgeously written” (Kirkus Reviews). Young Everly Lederer and K.C. Stites come of age in Oriente Province, where the Americans tend their own fiefdom - 300,000 acres of United Fruit Company sugarcane that surround their gated enclave. If the rural tropics are a child's dreamworld, Everly and K.C. nevertheless have keen eyes for the indulgences and betrayals of the grown-ups around them - the mordant drinking and illicit loves, the race hierarchies and violence. In Havana, 1,000 kilometers and a world away from the American colony, a cabaret dancer meets a French agitator named Christian de La Mazière, whose seductive demeanor can't mask his shameful past. Together, they become enmeshed in the brewing political underground. When Fidel and Raúl Castro lead a revolt from the mountains above the cane plantation, torching the sugar and kidnapping a boat full of "yanqui" revelers, K.C. and Everly begin to discover the brutality that keeps the colony humming. Though their parents remain blissfully untouched by the forces of history, the children hear the whispers of what is to come. Kushner's first novel is a tour de force, haunting and compelling, with the urgency of a telex from a forgotten time and place. 

©2008 Rachel Kushner (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

Narrator: Lloyd James
Length: 12 hrs and 55 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for The Hard Crowd

The Hard Crowd


From a writer celebrated for her “chops, ambition, and killer instinct” (John Powers, Fresh Air), a career-spanning collection of spectacular essays about politics and culture.  Rachel Kushner has established herself as “the most vital and interesting American novelist working today” (Michael Lindgren, The Millions) and as a master of the essay form. In The Hard Crowd, she gathers a selection of her writing from over the course of the last 20 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 19 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 our most dazzling and fearless writers.  “Kushner writes with startling detail, imagination, and gallows humor”, said Leah Greenblatt in Entertainment Weekly, and, from Paula McLain in the Wall Street Journal: “The authority and precision of Kushner’s writing is impressive, but it’s the gorgeous ferocity that will stick with me.”  “[Kushner] 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 puts you in mind of Robert Stone and Joan Didion.” (Dwight Garner, The New York Times)

©2021 Rachel Kushner. All rights reserved. The epigraph is from The Passion According to G.H. by Clarice Lispector, translated by Idra Novey. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Available on Audible
Cover art for Mars room

Mars room


Un cellulare della polizia percorre le strade deserte nella notte californiana. Le detenute vanno trasferite quando cala il buio, per tenere distante dagli occhi della gente perbene quel branco di ladre, mogli assassine e madri degeneri. Romy Hall è seduta a bordo, e cerca di farsi gli affari suoi: una delle prime regole che s'imparano in prigione. Di lei non sappiamo molto. Sappiamo però che ha ucciso un uomo e per questo è stata condannata. È successo quando faceva la spogliarellista al Mars Room. Alcuni clienti optavano per il "pacchetto fidanzata" e uno di loro, Kurt Kennedy, si era convinto che lei fosse davvero la sua fidanzata, maturando una gelosia ossessiva e perversa. Romy era scappata a Los Angeles, ma non sembrava esserci modo di fuggire davvero da quell'uomo. Anche se nessuno ha ascoltato la sua versione, Romy è rassegnata ad abbandonarsi agli ingranaggi crudeli di una giustizia vendicativa, paternalista e violenta, pronta a abbandonarsi al suo destino come già faceva nella sua giovinezza randagia e disperata, romantica e perduta. Finché un giorno, anche lì, in fondo all'inferno in cui è precipitata, arriverà una notizia che cambierà tutto... Un romanzo sulla violenza della bellezza, sull'ossessione delle nostre società per la punizione, sul sogno americano che dalle praterie sconfinate si ribalta nel chiuso di una cella o di una capanna, sulle sconfitte degli ultimi e sulle loro vittorie.

©2019 Einaudi (P)2019 Einaudi

Narrator: Chiara Leoncini
Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for HiBrow: The Folio Prize Fiction Festival

HiBrow: The Folio Prize Fiction Festival


The three-day Folio Prize Fiction Festival 2014 brought together some great writers and audiences and gave them a real opportunity to talk in depth about their work and similar subjects.  The festival included interviews and discussions with top writers, novelists, poets, critics and publishers, including Eimear McBride, Paul Baggaley, Sergio De La Pava, Rachel Kushner, Sarah Hall, Pankaj Mishra, Stephanie Merritt, Jane Gardam and Mark Haddon.

©2018 One Media iP Ltd (P)2018 One Media iP Ltd

Available on Audible