The Hard Crowd
In her 20s Rachel Kushner went to Mexico in pursuit of her first love - motorbikes - to compete in the notorious and deadly race, Cabo 1000. As fellow racers died on the roadside, bikes were stolen and friends abandoned one another in the heat of the chase, she crashed at 130mph and miraculously survived; soon after, she decided to leave her controlling boyfriend and manoeuvred her way into a freer new life. 'The Hard Crowd' is a white-knuckle ride through that life; a book about muscling your way through, finding your own path and, as she says in the hair-raising opening piece, 'completing the ride without dying'. In 19 razor-sharp essays she explores friendship, loss, social justice, art and more, taking us into the world of truckers, a Palestinian refugee camp, the American prison system and the San Francisco music scene, via the work of Jeff Koons, Marguerite Duras and the Rolling Stones.