About this item

From twice National Book Award-nominated Rachel Kushner, whose Flamethrowers was called "the best, most brazen, most interesting book of the year" (Kathryn Schulz, New York magazine) , comes a spectacularly compelling, heart-stopping novel about a life gone off the rails in contemporary America.

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 bare 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 Kushner's work. It is audacious 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 particular, all of them brilliantly alive."

"Kushner is going to be one we turn to for our serious pleasures and for the insight and wisdom we'll be needing in hard times to come. She is a novelist of the very first order." - Robert Stone

"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



About the Author

Rachel Kushner

Rachel Kushner's New York Times bestselling novel The Flamethrowers 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. 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 for her prose style, from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.



Read Next Recommendation

Discuss with your friends


Report incorrect product information.