De Amerikaanse schrijfster Rachel Kushner werd geboren op 7 oktober 1968 in Eugene, Oregon en verhuisde naar San Francisco in 1979. Zij studeerde af aan de Universiteit van Californië, Berkeley en behaalde haar Master of Fine Arts in creatief schrijven aan de Columbia University in 2001. Na haar MFA woonde Kushner 8 jaar in New York City, waar zij redacteur was van de tijdschriften Grand Street en BOM. Zij schreef veel over hedendaagse kunst, waaronder tal van artikelen in Artforum. Ze is momenteel redacteur van Soft Targets, een tijdschrift over kunst, fictie en poëzie. Kushners meest recente roman “The Flamethrowers” werd in april 2013 gepubliceerd door Scribner. “The Flamethrowers” was finalist voor de 2013 National Book Award en werd uitgeroepen tot een top boek van 2013 door New York Magazine, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, O, The Oprah Magazine, New York Times Book Review, New York Times ‘Dwight Garner, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Vogue, Wall Street Journal, Salon, Slate, Daily Beast, Flavorwire, The Millions, The Jewish Daily Forward en Austin American-Statesman. Kushner ’s eerste roman “Telex from Cuba” werd in juli 2008 gepubliceerd door Scribner. “Telex from Cuba” was finalist voor de 2008 National Book Award.
Uit: The Flamethrowers
“I walked out of the sun, unfastening my chin strap. Sweat was pooling along my collarbone, trickling down my back and into my nylon underwear, running down my legs under the leather racing suit. I took off my helmet and the heavy leather jacket, set them on the ground, and unzipped the vents in my riding pants.
I stood for a long time tracking the slow drift of clouds, great fluffy masses sheared flat along their bottom edges like they were melting on a hot griddle.
There were things I had no choice but to overlook, like wind effect on clouds, while flying down the highway at a hundred miles an hour. I wasn’t in a hurry, under no time constraint. Speed doesn’t have to be an issue of time. On that day, riding a Moto Valera east from Reno, it was an issue of wanting to move across the map of Nevada that was taped to my gas tank as I moved across the actual state. Through the familiar orbit east of Reno, the brothels and wrecking yards, the big puffing power plant and its cat’s cradle of coils and springs and fencing, an occasional freight train and the meandering and summer-shallow Truckee River, railroad tracks and river escorting me to Fernley, where they both cut north.
From there the land was drained of color and specificity, sage-tufted dirt and incessant sameness of highway. I picked up speed. The faster I went, the more connected I felt to the map. It told me that fifty-six miles after Fernley I’d hit Lovelock, and fifty-six miles after leaving Fernley I hit Lovelock. I moved from map point to map point. Winnemucca. Valmy. Carlin. Elko. Wells. I felt a great sense of mission, even as I sat under a truck stop awning, sweat rolling down the sides of my face, an anonymous breeze, hot and dry, wicking the damp from my thin undershirt. Five minutes, I told myself. Five minutes. If I stayed longer, the place the map depicted might encroach. A billboard across the highway said schaefer. when you’re having more than one.”
Rachel Kushner (Eugene, 7 oktober 1968)