Of the books I read published in 2013, these are my favorites.

Last year I joined list hysteria (“listeria”?) of end-of-the-year reading. At the end of 2013, I’m succumbing again. I’ll just quote myself from last year regarding the rather lengthy title to this post: Since it would be silly to say these are the “best” books of 2012—”best” is impossible to determine, and considering I’ve read only […]

Vulture’s Profile of Rachel Kushner.

So much gold in this Vulture profile of author Rachel Kushner: Kushner speaks fluidly but is sometimes hard to parse. Category distinctions are very important to her, and she gives no quarter to the gray areas that are unavoidable in discussing her work. She can seem impossibly sophisticated and then incongruously naïve, like an excited […]

Attitude and Passion: Rachel Kushner’s “Telex From Cuba.”

Partway through Telex from Cuba, Rachel Kushner’s debut novel, I was reminded of John Lennon. I had been reading into the background of the Beatles’ famous avant-garde experiment, “Revolution No. 9,” and had rediscovered some of Lennon’s astute political observations. Amid the chaos of the 1960s, when many youth and liberals and liberal youth spoke […]

“The Flamethrowers.”

The more and more I read about Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers, the more I want to read it. Her previous effort, Telex from Cuba—which is absurdly cheap on Amazon right now—is already on my to-read pile.