Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers

Performing Reality

‘Why do you invent … and tell lies?’ So asks Reno, the protagonist of Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers. She has come home with the artist Ronnie Fontaine after a dinner party, during which he told an epic tale. ‘They aren’t lies,’ replies Ronnie. ‘They’re a form of discretion.’

Ronnie, like many characters in Kushner’s novel, never stops being an artist. Even at home in his New York studio, he is still mythmaking – recasting his earlier fictions as a polite respect for privacy…

Link to full essay at Sydney Review of Books.

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© 2015 Mireille Juchau. Homepage image © Wendy Ewald "Girl with Mirror". Author photo © Alex Craig.