The Millions

Anything Goes: The Millions Interviews Chris Rush

 As a painter, Chris Rush is preoccupied with how his subjects interact with light. Like the air, light is a natural phenomenon, but when manipulated, it can reveal hidden layers and tell complicated stories. As a memoirist, Rush has a similar ability: to wrap us into his world and flip us on our heads.

The Light Years begins when Rush is a wide-eyed, church-going New Jersey boy. He’s not yet discovered who he is, though he knows he likes weird art and wearing flashy capes around the neighborhood.

Eventually, due to tensions with his parents, he is sent to live with his older, hippie sister in San Francisco, where he discovers the counterculture and psychedelics of the 1970s. There, he is introduced to a seductive drug dealer. The story goes from New Jersey to San Francisco to a stash house in the desert of Southern Arizona. The particulars seem too farfetched to be true, but believe me: it’s all true.

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