Why She’s Interesting: Kushner is known for creating intriguing stories with depth such as her book, Swordspoint, a fantasy novel featuring queer characters. Published in 1987, the cult favorite was named one of Time’s 100 best fantasy books of all time in 2020.
Rooted in the Land: Kushner grew up in Shaker Heights. “It was a magical childhood. It was an era when kids ran outside and played with each other and got into all kinds of mischief our mothers never found out about.”
Write Stuff: The inspiration for Swordspoint comes from her time living in New York City in the 1980s. “Back then, the Upper West Side was sort of a bad neighborhood. It was an exciting place to live. You never knew what was going to happen. You had to have street smarts.”
Self Reflection: The decision to include queer characters in her book wasn’t for anyone but herself — at first. “I feel like the best fantasy literature are the ones where the author is writing out of their profound sense of truth.”
Advice: The one piece of advice Kushner turns to again and again comes from her father. “Everybody doesn’t have to like you.”
Up Next: Right now, Kushner is working on her fourth novel, which is set in the same fictional world as Swordspoint. “It’s actually the next generation of characters, set 15 years apart from the last one.”
Interesting Fact: 7 years: The length of time it took Kushner to write Swordspoint.