Quotes by: Rachel Kushner
I like to read novels where the author seems knowledgeable, like someone you know you could walk calmly next to through a complicated situation, and he or she would be alive to its meaning and ironies. And you wouldn't even have to mention them out loud to each other.
I have spent a lot of time listening to people who are serving life sentences and getting to know them and the circumstances of their lives. I have never met anyone serving a long prison sentence who had anything close to what I could call a childhood; instead, the upbringings always - always - involve extreme situations of poverty and abuse.
I have to arrange my life very carefully. I need eight hours' sleep to work.
I think character is very much a product of where you live, who you are, what is happening in that time of your life, and I'm interested in those pressures, those forces. A political context, a social context, really determines if not who people are then how they treat one another and what they say, how they speak.
Success is a completely abstract thing - it has no bearing on daily life, family matters, the matter of artistic creation, but it can affect grace, and if I lose that, I really have gained nothing from success.
Most go to prison not on account of their irreducible uniqueness as people but because they are part of a marginalized sector of the population who never had a chance, who were slated for it early on.
I steer clear of books with ugly covers. And ones that are touted as 'sweeping,' 'tender' or 'universal.'
There were people in Cuba who truly had substantial things to gain from revolution. There were people who had things to lose in the revolution. I think they're all allowed to have their memories of what happened.
Painting was a problem - you produce a thing, and then you sell it and get money, and that was quickly considered totally uncool.
Writing is a way of living. It doesn't quite matter that there are too many books for the number of readers in the world to read them. It's a way of being alive for the writer.
I get the feeling that people from outside the world of contemporary art see it as deserving of mockery, in an emperor's-new-clothes sort of way. I think that's not right and that it's just because they don't understand the discourse.
Futurism eventually got marred by its link to Fascism, but early on, it was totally avant-garde, and I wanted to dream a phantom link from the early futurists to the politically radical Italy of the 1970s, a time of fun, play, subversion - if also violence and mayhem.
Happiness is a mysterious concept. It seems to work best as futurity: at that point I will be happy, et cetera. I feel like I experience small pieces of joy day to day.
I think sometimes writers can get themselves into trouble trying to exert a totally controlled and super-knowing tone. This kind of knowingness is not the most promising tone to be sustained throughout a novel, to have a young woman who understands everybody and is always reading a room perfectly.
Danzon is my favorite Cuban music, played by a traditional string orchestra with flute and piano. It's very formally structured but romantic music, which derives from the French-Haitian contradance.
It's through engagement with the world, and not separation from it, that something with meaning gets produced.
My dad had a Vincent Black Shadow, which was a quite particular thing: it was the fastest cycle of its era... It sparked a world for me; when I was old enough, I got a motorcycle.
I have never liked the 'Been there done that' thing... You hear that all the time from people, and I think it's just based on pure insecurity... Each person is going to have their own unique take on something.
I try to show ugliness, but with compassion for the people who commit ugly acts.
My mother told me many stories about her childhood in Cuba. Living there had a profound impact on her and how she regards herself.