Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences, plus six years, at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility. Outside is the world from which she has been permanently severed: the San Francisco of her youth, changed almost beyond recognition. The Mars Room strip club where she once gave lap dances for a living. And her seven-year-old son, Jackson, now in the care of Romy’s estranged mother.
Inside is a new reality to adapt to: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive. The relentlessly deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner details with humour and precision. Daily acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike. Allegiances formed over liquor brewed in socks, and stories shared through sewage pipes.
Romy sees the future stretch out ahead of her in a long, unwavering line – until news from outside brings a ferocious urgency to her existence, challenging her to escape her own destiny and culminating in a climax of almost unbearable intensity. Through Romy – and through a cast of astonishing characters populating Mars Room – Rachel Kushner presents not just a bold and unsentimental panorama of life on the margins of contemporary America, but an excoriating attack on the prison-industrial complex.
About the Author
Rachel Kushner’s debut novel, Telex from Cuba, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and a New York Times bestseller. Her follow-up novel, The Flamethrowers, was also a finalist for the National Book Award and received rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. Her fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s and the Paris Review. She lives in Los Angeles.
"It is an unforgettable novel, and leaves the reader in no doubt that Kushner is one of America's greatest living authors." * Daily Telegraph *
"Cements [Kushner's] status as one of America's finest writers." * Vogue *
"If you haven't heard of Rachel Kushner yet, you soon will. The American novelist has earned comparisons to Jennifer Egan and Jonathan Franzen... [The Mars Room] makes for a compelling read. Imagine a darker version of "Orange Is The New Black"." * Sunday Times Style *
"Kushner is a young master. I honestly don't know how she is able to know so much and convey all of this in such a completely entertaining and mesmerizing way." -- George Saunders
"It's her best book yet, another big step forward. " -- Jonathan Franzen
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 18th June 2018
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.1 x 15.2 x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.46