The Mars Room: A Novel
by Rachel Kushner (Author)
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 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 Rachel Kushner’s writing. It is daring 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 brilliantly alive.”
Absolutely stunning. Kushner gets better and better with each book. The Flamethrowers was excellent, but this story fits together even more and challenges the reader’s view at every turn. The style is stunning. Rachel has a distinctive feel for the rhythms of language and uses it perfectly in this book.
For me, this book was a great read which kept me hooked right through to the end of story. I would like to thank NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.
About the author
Rachel Kushner is the author of the bestselling novel The Flamethrowers, which was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, the 2014 Folio Prize, the James Tait Black Prize, and was chosen as one of the five best novels of the year by the New York Times. A book of early short fictions, The Strange Case of Rachel K, was published by New Directions in 2015. Her debut novel, Telex from Cuba, was reviewed on the cover of the NY Times Book Review and was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the California Book Award, and a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book. Kushner’s fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and the Paris Review. She is the recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, and 2016 winner of the Howard D. Vursell Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.