The Mars Room | Los Angeles Public Library
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The Mars Room

Rachel Kushner
In conversation with Danzy Senna
Thursday, May 10, 2018
01:03:06
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Episode Summary

From the twice National Book Award–nominated and bestselling author of The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner offers a heart-stopping new novel, The Mars Room, that straddles the inside—and outside—of protagonist Romy Hall’s reality: an inmate beginning two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley, where “you do not see a single star.” With great humor and precision, Kushner moves between Hall’s polar worlds: the severed world of her past in San Francisco with her young son and her present institutional living with its absurdities and the thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive. Kushner will discuss this emotionally acute yet unsentimental story with writer Danzy Senna, who frequently writes about race in America.


Participant(s) Bio

Rachel Kushner is the bestselling author of The Flamethrowers, a finalist for the National Book Award and a New York Times Top Ten Book of 2013. Her first novel, Telex from Cuba was also a finalist for the National Book Award. She lives in Los Angeles.

Danzy Senna is the author of five critically acclaimed books of fiction and nonfiction. Her first novel, Caucasia, won the Book of the Month Award for First Fiction and the American Library Association’s Alex Award. Caucasia was a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Her other books include the novel, Symptomatic, the memoir, Where Did You Sleep Last Night? A Personal History, and the short story collection, You Are Free, and the forthcoming novel, New People. Senna is a recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and was recently awarded the 2017 Dos Passos Prize for Literature. She has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times and Vogue, among other publications. She lives in Los Angeles.



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