Born in Eugene, Oregon, Rachel Kushner moved to San Francisco at the age of 11. She graduated at the University of California, Berkeley, and after earning her MFA in creative writing at the Columbia University she lived in New York for eight years, working as an editor at the Grand Street e BOMB magazines. As an art critic, she contributed contemporary art articles to the magazine Artforum and now she is currently an editor of Soft Targets. After drawing attention to herself with her first novel Telex from Cuba (published in Italy by Mondadori), she waited nearly six years before publishing The Flamethrowers (issued in Italian by Ponte alle Grazie in 2014), praised by Jonathan Franzen and described by the New York Times as the most significant novel of 2013. Kushner’s writing is powerful and refined. To an Italian reader, The Flamethrowers is of particular interest since the story is mostly set in Italy during the Years of Lead, a period that the writer studied with great dedication. The novel was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award.