Rachel Kushner combines a gritty portrait of life on the margins of contemporary America with a stinging indictment of the US penal system.

Outside is the world from which she has been permanently severed: the Mars Room strip club where she once gave lap dances for a living; her seven-year-old son, Jackson, now in the care of her estranged mother. Inside is the new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials of survival – the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, daily acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike, allegiances formed over liquor brewed in socks and stories shared through sewage pipes.

The Man Booker Prize 2018
Published by
Jonathan Cape
Publication date
Rachel Kushner

Rachel Kushner

About the Author

Rachel Kushner is the author of The Mars Room, which was shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize.
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