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Essential Acker: The Selected Writings

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  210 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Kathy Acker pushed literary boundaries with a vigor and creative fire that made her one of America's preeminent experimental writers and her books cult classics. Now Amy Scholder and Dennis Cooper have distilled the incredible variety of Acker's body of work into a single volume that reads like a communique from the front lines of late-twentieth-century America. Acker was ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 12th 2002 by Grove Press
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Mar 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
nothing like 335 pages of cunt
This was excerpts from various selections of Kathy Acker's writing. Some of it was tedious as hell, but a lot of it was very good. It is definitely not for the easily offended or people put off by any kind of sex. (view spoiler) ...more
Rachel Sarah
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Like every good Feminist / poststructuralist I measure Acker against Smut and there's nothing like pages and pages of C U N T to extinguish the categories
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Acker doesn't work in novels. She works in chopped-up versions of her lengthier works. This compendium is living proof that Acker's outtakes from her novels work in shorter form.
Daniel Schulof
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
The style from the earliest selections was really working well for me. Not just fragmentation, but a kind of disregard for the rules of grammar while retaining meaning. Just like the mind works. Very cool. But I grew bored with the material from the middle -- it became repetitive and uninteresting. Also, the persistent focus on sexual/transgressive subject matter became a problem for me because it didn't ring true to my own internal experiences of these phenomena, particularly in the persistent ...more
Marina Sofia
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Works very well as a book to read on and off, rather than working your way systematically through it. Some of the extracts were perhaps not too well chosen to show her variety. She is still provocative and angry as anything!
For Books' Sake
Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Essential Acker is a comprehensive introduction to this influential and transgressive author for those who haven’t encountered her before, and a handy compilation for the already-converted fanatics.

The anthology effectively showcases the appropriation techniques Acker was so renowned for; inspired by the cut-up writings of William Burroughs, she plundered classics such as Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations and Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes as well as pop culture, current affairs and religious
Mar 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who's read Acker knows her writing is not for the easily offended. Her style of writing reads like a sermon... only with blunt sexuality (often explicitly perverse) and feminist philosophy. This book is awkward to read in public because at time's it is shockingly graphic, but at the same time Kathy Acker is able to fill the reader with awe.
Alika Tanaka Yarnell
Sep 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Experimental sex deviants
Shelves: fiction
Whatever you might think about Kathy Acker, she did write some crazy kick-ass stuff. When you need a bolt of energy to get you out of a reading rut, flip to any of Kathy's pages to give you a sharp kick in the pants.
Jan 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who want an introduction to Acker
Contains excerpts from most of her books. A good introduction to Acker. I think the editors could have chosen better selections from some of the books, but overall it's good.
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life.
Jon Boulier
Apr 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
Laudable experimentally and for the progression of literature; aesthetically, not my cup of tea. But: Respect.
amin ghazaei
Mar 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
بزودی یک ویژه نامه در باره کتی آکر در اینترنت منتشر خواهم نمود.
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Born of German-Jewish stock, Kathy Acker was brought up by her mother and stepfather (her natural father left her mother before Kathy was born) in a prosperous district of NY. At 18, she left home and worked as a stripper. Her involvement in the sex industry helped to make her a hit on the NY art scene, and she was photographed by the newly fashionable Robert Mapplethorpe. Preferring to be known s ...more

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