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“Women need to become literary criminals, break the literary laws and reinvent their own, because the established laws prevent women from presenting the reality of their lives.”

Kathy Acker (1947–1997)  was an American punk feminist experimental writer who wrote poetry, essays, plays, and a screenplay, but was most known for her novel Blood and Guts in High School (1984). She used the postmodern technique of pastiche, mashing up various styles and influences. She also used violence, explicit language, and the “low-class” genres of sci-fi, pornography, and horror as a way of subverting literary expectations. Her most characteristic technique was copying and pasting male authors’ texts from the canon and reacting to them or speaking as their female characters as a way of redressing “the silence of women.”

In this 1992 “Bookworm” interview with Michael Silverblatt, she names these writers as either influences or those she has sampled: Burroughs, Faulkner, Desclos, Keats, Flaubert, Dickens, Rimbaud, and Genet.

Grove Press published her last novel, Pussy, King of the Pirates, in 1996. It has eleven of her novels in print here.

Movie about Kathy Acker here.

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