The Hard Crowd Essays 2000-2020
‘I’m glad to taste something this sharp, this smart’ Olivia Laing
‘Wide-ranging and unsparingly intelligent throughout’ Vogue
In her twenties 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 80mph 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 essay, ‘completing the ride without dying’. Charged with hot-blooded humanity – with anger against the world’s cruelties, and a free-wheeling passion for rare people, machines, movies, music, art and writing – it is an electrifying work about a woman’s determination to reach the finish line.