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Blood and Guts in High School


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The book that shocked a generation and introduced Kathy Acker as the enfant terrible of the 1980s literary underground.

About the Author

Kathy Acker was born in 1947 and was raised in New York City. In her twenties she broke ties with her family and worked as a stripper, while writing and publishing in the underground literary scene. The 1984 publication of Blood and Guts in High School caused a sensation - the book was at the centre of a surge of media attention. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996, she abandoned Western medicine after a traumatic experience of surgery. She died in an alternative cancer clinic in Tijuana, Mexico in 1997.Her major novels include Blood and Guts in High School, Great Expectations, Don Quixote and Pussy, King of the Pirates. A collection of her emails with cultural theorist McKenzie Wark was published in 2015, titled I'm Very into You.


Acker is a postmodern Colette with echoes of Cleland's Fanny Hill -- William S. Burroughs
A coming-of-age story which examines incest and paedophilia with a profoundly Sadist literary bent ... can be credited with moving mainstream literature into indie territory. -- A Stevens * Guardian *
Acker's work, more than that of any other writer I can think of, challenged the traditional lines of demarcation between poetry and novel, between high culture and popular trash and, perhaps most important of all, between literature and art world. -- London Review of Books * Peter Wollen *
[Kathy Acker is] part rebel bohemian avant-gardiste, part NYC downtown punk, and part venerable literary grande dame -- Michael Bracewell
Twenty years after her death and I still miss her -- Neil Gaiman
Acker gives her work the power to mirror the reader's soul -- William S. Burroughs
Acker understands that writing without myth is nothing * Chris Kraus *
Kathy Acker's writing is virtuoso, maddening, crazy, so sexy, so painful, and beaten out of a wild heart that nothing can tame. Acker is a landmark writer -- Jeanette Winterson
Scarified sensibility,subversive intellect, and predatory wit make her a writer like no other * The New York Times Review of Books *
An avatar of nomadic urban modern primitive tribes... her novels perform postmodern campfire grill voodoo... She was a magician -- R.U. Sirius
Reading Kathy Acker is like playing hopscotch with a genius -- Richard Foreman

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