Sarah Sarai

The Static Cling of Poverty: Review of Rachel Kushners "The Mars Room"

 The Static Cling of Poverty: Review of Rachel Kushners "The Mars Room"

In 1974, President Nixon performed at the Grand Ole Opry. First, he praised the audience’s values which, he boasted, were America’s values. According to the much-investigated Richard M., country was a musical representation of America’s soul. Next, he banged-out a clumsy piano rendition of “God Bless America.” Immediately following Nixon’s performative version of the United States, the Grand Ole stage came to life with act after act, a long line of country and redneck musicians, one after another singing of revenge, drugs, affairs, divorce, booze, despair, poverty, rootlessness, ruthless bosses, and prison.