Rachel Kushner Immerses Herself in the Unknown World

April 15, 2021

At the Paris Review, Rachel Kushner shares the process behind her new collection of essays, The Hard Crowd, which she wrote through a direct, hands-on approach. “If one were to divide writers into two crude categories, I believe that some face inward and some face outward,” Kushner says. “To know themselves, some writers look inward. Others, in order to have a sense of themselves as bounded entities, need to be immersed in the unknown world. I believe this is a basic orientation that you’re probably born with—which way you face. I face outward. Even when I was very young, I gravitated toward worlds of knowledge and people, subcultures, that had to be learned directly, through experience, as if this process of immersion in the unknown would help me to understand myself.”

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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