Essential Acker: The Selected Writings of Kathy Acker (Acker, Kathy)

by Kathy Acker

Paperback, 2002


Checked out


Grove Press (2002), Edition: 1, 320 pages


The incredible variety of AckerUs body of work has been distilled into a single volume that reads like a communique from the front lines of late-20th century America. Acker was a literary pirate whose prodigious output drew promiscuously from popular culture, the classics of Western civilization, current events, and the raw material of her own life.

User reviews

LibraryThing member poetontheone
This collection of excerpts from Kathy Acker's oeuvre is nicely organized and the content has obviously been carefully selected. The advantage of an "anthology" of this sort for Acker is it shows you the range of themes that she tackles throughout her body of work, and how she approached them differently at different times. This collection is completely unnecessary for anyone already familiar with her work, and I don't think I would recommend it to the curious either. If you are unfamiliar with Acker's work, start with Blood and Guts in High School and branch out from there. For the reasons mentioned above, however, I think this book works particularly well in an academic setting. Having already read several of Acker's novels, I read this book for an undergraduate survey course in contemporary American literature. This is more teachable for its breadth of themes and formal styles. This collection draws out a clear schemata of what her oeuvre achieves, but for many it would be more fun to dive in head first and read her novels rather than just a few excerpts.… (more)
LibraryThing member hovercraftofeels
This was assigned to me for a class and was my first introduction to Kathy Acker's works. I felt the excerpts chosen were concise and gave the reader a good sense of the overall piece, however some seemed much weaker examples of the larger text than others, such as the one from Empire of the Senseless. I definitely want to go pick up some of Acker's novels now, so I believe that lends some success to the collection, although the introduction by Jeanette Winterson reads more like a fan letter from an obsessive teen than an academic or professional approach to laying the grounds for a writer's body of work. Actually, I was really hesitant to start the book after finishing the introduction, so new readers of Acker might want to skip ahead to the good stuff. I believe I would have much rather picked up one of the books from this collection than read excerpts and I recommend others to do that because as you read through, terminology and images appear to be repeated ad nauseum to the point of frustration when it's really just the short length between pieces.… (more)


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Physical description

320 p.; 8.22 inches


0802139213 / 9780802139214
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