Author Rachel Kushner Gives Reading – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Author Rachel Kushner Gives Reading

Rachel Kushner, a Guggenheim Fellowship winner and critically acclaimed author of “The Flamethrowers” (2013), will give a reading of her work from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4 in the Hirshson Ballroom. Her visit to HWS is presented as one of this semester’s Trias Series speaker events.

Released in April, Kushner’s second novel “The Flamethrowers” has received rave reviews across the country since its publishing. Hailed as “scintillatingly alive” by The New Yorker, the novel currently is on the shortlist of five finalists for the National Book Award. The book chronicles the story of a young artist in the mid-1970s and the worlds she encounters in New York and Rome as she tries to combine her affinity of motorcycle racing and art.

Her first novel, “Telex from Cuba” (2008), tells the story of Americans living in Cuba during the years leading up to Castro’s revolution. The Americans were driven out in 1958, including her grandfather, who worked in a nickel-mining community in Havana during the time period. The novel was a finalist for the National Book award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the California Book Award, and a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book.

Kushner’s fiction and essays have also appeared in numerous established publications, including the New York Times, the Paris Review, The Believer and Grand Street. Kushner was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013.

Kushner’s visit is held thanks to The Trias Residency for Writers, which is supported by The Peter Trias Endowed Fund for Poetry and Creative Writing. The fund was established through a generous bequest from Peter J. Trias ’70. Trias graduated from Hobart with a bachelor’s degree in English, and went on to earn his MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers Workshop in 1972. In 1976, he published a collection of poems, “The House in Venice.”

Noted poet Piotr Sommer is this year’s Trias Writer-in Residence. Sommer is participating in a one-year residency on campus, working with the Colleges’ best student writers and offering public readings and lectures.

For more information about The Peter Trias Residency for Writers, visit or contact David Weiss, director of the Trias Residency for Writers, at