Who Best to Introduce Cormac McCarthy?

Rachel Kushner, who for reasons I can’t comprehend was selected to write the Introduction to a new Picador edition of Cormac McCarthy’s ‘Border Trilogy’ writes:

As I revisited the trilogy recently, I was in a home office that is walking distance from the largest bas-relief military monument in the United States, celebrating the 1847 victory of Los Angeles in the Mexican-American War. This enormous stone depiction of men, one on horseback, and the rippling American flag they raise, just happens to be diagonally opposite from the huge criminal court building in downtown Los Angeles. Mexican-Americans stream past it, dwarfed by the 50-foot-tall monument, as they make their dreary way to court, where disproportionate numbers of Latinos are arraigned, tried, convicted, and remanded to state prisons.

Some background on Kushner:

Kushner was born in Eugene, Oregon, the daughter of two scientists whom she has described as “deeply unconventional people from the beatnik generation.” Her mother arranged after-school work for her straightening and alphabetizing books at a feminist bookstore when she was 5 years old… Kushner moved with her family to San Francisco in 1979.

She got the idea for her [first] novel after completing her MFA in 2000, and she made three long trips to Cuba over the six years it took her to write the book.

After completing her MFA, Kushner lived in New York City for eight years.

And what better person to establish the framework of Cormac McCarthy’s literary oeuvre, with its existential commentary on the American West, the history and fate of (white) America, and the civilizational differences between Anglo and Mestizo ways-of-being… than a liberal, female, Jewish MFA who grew up in SF, spent years in Cuba, then moved to NYC, and now lives in L.A.

After all, who’d ever want to live in Flyover Country? It’s not like the people, values, and heritage of Flyover Country have any relevance to McCarthy’s work.

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