What is the mars room about
The Mars Room by Rachel KushnerIt’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.
BOOK REVIEW: THE MARS ROOM - BELS BOOKS
The Mars Room: ‘One of the greatest novels I have read in years’
Setting a novel inside a prison throws up a significant narrative hurdle: how do you get a story going in an environment where no one is going anywhere? In The Mars Room , Rachel Kushner vaults over any such obstacles to produce one of the greatest novels I have read in years. Her prior novel, The Flamethrowers , was expansive and thrilling, but this is richer and deeper, more ambitious in its moral vision. Trying to absorb the shock of her new reality, wrenched away from her young son, Romy recalls her life as a drug-hungry slacker in a city evoked in deft lyrical strokes. We get a sense of the confused, all-too-human path that has led Romy into the cage of her destiny.
T hey are strip-searched, shackled, Tasered and put in cages; their babies are taken away at birth. We first meet Romy Hall on the bus to Stanville some time in the first decade of this century: she is 29, a single mother, and about to begin two consecutive life sentences for killing her stalker.
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The incident inspires our narrator—a former stripper named Romy Hall, serving two life sentences for murder—to recall an early prison lesson of her own. But her most consequential silence came in court. - Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
From the author of internationally acclaimed The Flamethrowers — a fearless and heartbreaking novel about love, friendship and incarceration. Her crime? The killing of her stalker. Inside awaits a world where women must hustle and fight for the bare essentials. Outside: the San Francisco of her youth. The Mars Room strip club where she was once a dancer.
Why did I read this book? It was on the lists. Actually, it was at the top of most of the lists. The Mars Room is a women-in-prison novel, but the title refers to a strip club in San Francisco where the protagonist danced before she went to jail. The lead character, Romy Hall, grows up in rough circumstances in a non-glamorous San Francisco, gravitates to drug and sex work, has an affair with a hipster filmmaker, births a son out of wedlock, and eventually ends up bludgeoning a guy who stalks her at the club.