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Purchase College Presents Literary Luminary Rachel Kushner

Purchase College-SUNY will host Rachel Kushner, an acclaimed novelist and short story writer, on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, at 4:30 p.m. The program, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Neuberger Museum Study at Purchase College (735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY).

Rachel Kushner is the author of two novels, Telex from Cuba (2008) and The Flamethrowers (2013), as well as a collection of short stories, The Strange Case of Rachel K (2015). Both of her novels were finalists for the National Book Award; The Flamethrowers also was named one of the Top Ten Books of 2013 by The New York Times. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013 and regularly writes for The Paris ReviewBOMB, and Artforum, among other publications.

“I’m thrilled that Rachel Kushner is coming to Purchase as part of our incredible Durst Distinguished Lecture Series this year. It’s exciting for our students to be able to interact with her and her work,” says Kathleen McCormick, Purchase College professor of literature and pedagogy.

She adds, “The Flamethrowers  is an edgy novel, seamlessly interweaving motorbikes, speed, World War I, the 70s art scene, revolutionary movements in Rome in 1977, multiple points of view, and a nameless main character known as ‘Reno.’ Kushner’s fiction—where motorcycles aren’t all that negotiate sleek maneuvers with speed and grace—confronts issues of women’s agency and of politics in complex ways across eras that will definitely appeal to the Purchase community.”

According to Monica Ferrell, associate professor of creative writing at Purchase College, “Rachel Kushner is a virtuosic writer. Like Reno, the visual artist-turned-racecar driver who serves as one of her protagonists, she is something of a daredevil, operating at high speeds and with a high degree of risk. Kushner conjures up worlds as distinctive and dissimilar as that of American expatriates in 1950s Havana, the grittily glamorous art scene of 1970s New York, and the Italian battlefields of World War I, among others. While it probes historical junctures of political and public significance, her work is nevertheless intimate and personal: at the core of each of these stories are human relationships and the rich depths of sensitively-registered emotional shifts.”

The Durst Distinguished Lecture Series and the Roy and Shirley Durst Distinguished Chair in Literature are funded by the Roy and Shirley Durst Distinguished Chair in Literature Endowment. The mission of the Durst programs is to infuse the experience and intellect of leading writers into the Purchase community, while providing diverse opportunities for these writers to interact with students and influence campus life.

For more information, please visit https://news.purchase.edu/mar-22-a-reading-and-conversation-with-rachel-kushner/ or call 914.251.6550.