After Kathy Acker book cover

After Kathy Acker: A Biographyby Chris Kraus.

I was first introduced to the writing of Kathy Acker while in high school in the mid-1990s. Instantly, I was hooked by this radical, postmodern, punk rock/riot girl, scholar, sex worker, transgressive, and experimental enigma known as Kathy Acker.

In After Kathy Acker, Chris Kraus (a part of Acker's circle of writers and artists) presents more than just a biography. While illuminating and debunking the myths and truths of Acker's life, Kraus closely reads Acker's texts and places them in the context of what was happening in Acker's tumultuous life of trauma, tragedy, fame, and success while crisscrossing the United States and traveling to Europe. The book's structure is more digestible than the cut-up, poetic prose, and blatant plagiarism interspersed in the works of Acker.

If you are looking for a wild tale of intense emotions, uncomfortable questions of truths, scenes of sex and violence, and the inner thoughts of an artist/writer, then After Kathy Acker should be added to your reading list.

Kraus, C. (2017). After Kathy Acker: A biography. Allen Lane.

--Patrick J Raftery Jr.

After Kathy Acker book cover