Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

The Mars Room
by Rachel Kushner

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2018
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: Literary
Hardback: 352
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
Chain night happens once a week on Thursdays.

Zombie sighting:
Her eyes glowed a grayish green like this was a zombie film and not a bus ride to a California state prison.
-chapter 1, page 15

It’s 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision.

My two-bits:

A woman's California prison experience is portrayed with its stereotypes and realities. The sketchy side of San Francisco also plays a part in regards to backdrop. The story is told well in an engaging and sad way.


* part of the Tournament of Books 2019 (here)


  1. Sounds like a fascinating read! Gonna go check it out on GR!

  2. It would be fascinating to learn a little about the world inside a women's prison. I think the humor the author used would be a must. :)


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