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The Flamethrowers - Rachel Kushner

The Flamethrowers - Rachel Kushner

Title: The Flamethrowers

Author:  Rachel Kushner

ISBN:  9781846557910

Weight:  990g

Signed first edition, first printing



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The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner

The year is 1977 and Reno – so called because of the place of her birth – has come to New York intent on turning her fascination with motorcycles and speed into art.  Her arrival coincides with an explosion of activity in the art world – artists have colonised a deserted and industrial SoHo, are squatting in the East Village, and are blurring the line between life and art.

Reno meets a group of dreamers and raconteurs who submit her to a sentimental education of sorts.  She begins an affair with an artist named Sandro Valera, the semi-estranged heir of an Italian tyre and motorcycle empire.  When they visit Sandro’s family home in Italy, Reno falls in with members of the radical movement that overtook Italy in 1977.  Betrayal sends her reeling into a clandestine undertow.

The Flamethrowers is a fearless novel, an intensely engaging exploration of the mystique of the feminine, the fake, the terrorist.  In the centre of it all is Kushner’s brilliantly realised protagonist, a young woman on the verge.

Peer & Press Reviews

An ambitious and serious American novel.  The sentences are sharp and gorgeously made.  The scope is wide.  The political and the personal are locked in a deep and fascinating embrace.

Colm Tóibín

A dazzlingly exciting novel…  This is a deeply intelligent and engaging novel that uses all the virtues of old-fashioned storytelling to celebrate the triumphs and absurdities of new-fangled art.

Jake Kerridge, Sunday Express

The Flamethrowers lives up to its incendiary title – it is a brilliant, startling truly revolutionary book about the New York art world of the seventies, Italian class warfare, and youth’s blind acceleration into the unknown.  Kushner is a genius prose stylist, and her Reno is one of the most fully realized protagonists I’ve ever encountered, moving fluidly from the fringe of the fringe movement to the center of the action.  I want to recommend this stunning book to everyone I know.

Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!

Bibliographic Info

Attribute Details
Title: The Flamethrowers
Book Features
Edition / printing: First edition, first printing
Overall condition: Fine / Fine (for more info, see our article on condition grades)
Signed: On the title page
Awards and Media
Awards and prizes

Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014 – longlist

James Tait Black Prize 2014 – shortlist

Folio Prize 2014 – shortlist

Specsavers National Book Awards 2013 – shortlist (fiction)

Book Stats
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Imprint: Harvill Secker
Publication date:
Printed by: Clays Ltd, Bungay
ISBN 13: 9781846557910
ISBN 10: 1846557917
Format: Hardcover with dust jacket
Pages: 383
Size (h x w x d): 241 x 160 x 40mm
Design Credits
Author photo: Lucy Raven
Jacket design: Suzanne Dean
Jacket image: Peter Stackpole / Time Life Pictures / Getty Images (motorbike)
Jacket illustration: Spooky Pooka at Debut Art (flame)

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