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Rachel Kushner: What it means to be free

In conversation with the Man Booker finalist

As the premier partner of this year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival, the University of Sydney presents this exclusive, on-campus event with one of America’s most acclaimed writers.

Having dazzled readers with turns through pre-revolutionary Cuba (Telex from Cuba) and 1970s New York (The Flamethrowers), Rachel Kushner’s exceptional literary streak continued last year with The Mars Room, immersing readers in the largest women’s prison in the United States.

Reckoning with incarceration and inequality, The Mars Room is heartbreaking, funny and essential reading from a novelist at the peak of her powers.

The University of Sydney warmly welcomes Rachel for a conversation with novelist and queer feminist scholar, Professor Annamarie Jagose on writing today and a body of work that spans eras, borders and inner lives.

Praise for The Mars Room

“One of the most gifted novelists of her generation—on the same tier as Jennifer Egan and the two Jonathans, Franzen and Lethem… It’s one of those books that enrage you even as they break your heart, and in its passion for social justice you can finally discern a connection between all three of Kushner’s novels…” – Charles McGrath, The New York Times Book Review.

“A major novel, a sustained performance, one that broods on several exigent ideas… There have always been echoes of laconic but resonant writers like Robert Stone and Don DeLillo in Kushner’s prose. In The Mars Room, she dwells as well on Dostoyevskian notions of evil.” – Dwight Garner, The New York Times.



Camperdown NSW 2006, Australia


Thursday 2 May 2019 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm


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  • Mobility access
  • Hearing loop

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