The Mars Room: A Novel by Scribner

The Mars Room: A Novel by Scribner
The Mars Room: A Novel by Scribner The Mars Room: A Novel by Scribner The Mars Room: A Novel by Scribner (click images to enlarge)

The Mars Room: A Novel by Scribner

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Description of The Mars Room: A Novel by Scribner

Stanville, the state prison in the Central Valley where much of the novel is set, may be fictional, but thanks to the author’s firsthand research, it resembles any number of correctional facilities across California and beyond. Just what goes on at Stanville is about to become daily life for Romy Hall: “The Mars Room” opens with 29-year-old Romy, recently convicted of murder, on a bus transporting prisoners from county jails to the big house.

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Manufacturer Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • TIME’S #1 FICTION TITLE OF THE YEAR • NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018

FINALIST for the MAN BOOKER PRIZE and LONGLISTED for the ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL

“Gritty, empathetic, finely rendered, no sugary toppings, and a lot of punches, none of them pulled.” —Margaret Atwood via Twitter

“A page turner…one of those books that enrage you even as they break your heart.” —The New York Times Book Review (cover review)

“Brilliant and devastating…a heartbreaking, true, and nearly flawless novel.” —NPR

“With her richly textured third novel, Kushner certifies her place as one of the great American novelists of the twenty-first century.” —Entertainment Weekly

From twice National Book Award–nominated Rachel Kushner, whose Flamethrowers was called “the best, most brazen, most interesting book of the year” (Kathryn Schulz, New York magazine), comes a spectacularly compelling, heart-stopping novel about a life gone off the rails in contemporary America.

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.

Stunning and unsentimental, The Mars Room demonstrates new levels of mastery and depth in Kushner’s work. It is audacious and tragic, propulsive and yet beautifully refined. As James Wood said in The New Yorker, her fiction “succeeds because it is so full of vibrantly different stories and histories, all of them particular, all of them brilliantly alive.”
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