Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner

The Flamethrowers is an exquisitely crafted bildungsroman about Reno, a young woman coming of age in 70’s New York. A formative experience in Italy additionally pupils her about the manifestations of class and the activism that tries to shake its yoke (the book cover is from a magazine released by one of Italy’s leftist organizations, Autonomia Operaia). Through Reno’s attachment to motorcycles, Rachel Kushner effectively works the metaphor of speed -- the exhilarating ride that is youth, the life that passes by in a blur and what we eventually save of it, a few frozen still-frames to learn from and perhaps even love.

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