Three early, self-published novels from Kathy Acker reissued with an original introduction by Kate Zambreno, the author of Heroines, Green Girl, Screen Tests, and more.
The Childlike Life of the Black Tarantula, Kathy Acker's debut and the first in this three-novel collection, began as an episodic handmade pamphlet that Acker mailed out to influential writers and artists whose addresses she managed to get her hands on. In the novel, Acker steps into the biography of a Mississippi murderess who falls in love with a famous lawyer, and mixes in fragments from porn, historical romance, pulp fictions, and The Story of O. Collect with her second novel, the dreamy exploration of desire I Dreamt I was a Nymphomaniac, and her third, The Adult Life of Toulouse Lautrec, Portrait of an Eye is dive into the frenzy of sexual wanting, the search for identity, and the invention of a new literary language.
Now with an introduction by Kate Zambreno contextualizing the resurrection of these three early Acker novels, this new edition of Portrait of an Eye reminds us of all there is still to learn from Kathy Acker, a writer and artist whose work "remains radical and uncanny, entirely inimitable, a smash and grab on the history of literature" (Guardian).
Originally published in 1988, Empire of the Senseless marked a turning point in Acker's wild, inimitable style. Considered one of her more accessible works, here Acker candidly addresses her lifelong obsessions: childhood and trauma, language and sexuality, criminality and corruption, oppression and rebellion.
Abhor (part human, part robot) and her lover Thivai (a pirate) traverse Paris in a dystopian future, in search of a mysterious drug that Thivai needs in order to maintain his ability to love. Navigating the chaotic city, they encounter mad doctors, prisoners, bikers, sailors, tattooists, terrorists, and prostitutes, while a band of Algerian revolutionaries take over, and the C. I. A. plots to thwart them all.
Sexually explicit, graphically violent, Empire of the Senseless resists the desensitizing of cultural consciousness and the disintegration of interpersonal communication. A timeless, prescient parable, it speaks profoundly to our social and political history as well as our present reality.
Claudia Rankine's second poetry collection, The End of the Alphabet, is an inquiry into despair and recovery, selfhood and alienation. Centered on a heroine named Jane, these poems--obsessive, intrepid, erotic--speak in the aftermath of a life-altering tragedy, attempting to make peace with loss and find redemption through mourning. Rankine writes with unflinching attention to exterior detail and emotional nuance, as well as with linguistic and formal innovation, crafting an extraordinarily powerful, utterly unique portrait of sorrow and strength.
rile* is a bookshop and project space for publication and performance. rile* is into poetry, theory, choreography, artist writing and various other text based experiments. rile* organizes performances, meetings, launches, readings... rile* is the base word for silence in Láadan, a feminist constructed language developed by Suzette Haden Elgin in 1982. The language was included in her science fiction Native Tongue series. Láadan contains a number of words that are used to make unambiguous statements that include how one feels about what one is saying. According to Elgin, this is designed to counter language's limitations to those who are forced to respond I know I said that, but I meant this.
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