KATHY ACKER Biography - Writers


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Kathy Acker (April 18, 1947-November 30, 1997) was one of the most influential                 
writers of her generation. Born in Manhattan, she divided her working life                     
between NY, London, and California. She was the author of numerous novels and                   
anthologies of her work including the following publications on Grove Press:                   
Pussy, King of the Pirates, 1997; Empire of the Senseless, 1988; my mother:                     
demonology, a novel, 1993, Blood and Guts in High School, 1989; Great                           
Expectations, 1989; Literal Madness: Kathy Goes to Haiti/My Death My Life by                   
Pier Paolo Pasolini/Florida, 1989. Others include: Bodies of Work: Essays,                     
Serpent's Tail, 1997; Portrait of an Eye: Three Novels-The Childlike Death of                   
Black Tarantula by the Black Tarantula/I Dreamt I Was a Nymphomaniac/Imaging,                   
the Adu, Grove/Atlantic, 1998; Hannibal Lecter, My Father, Native Agents Series/Semiotext(e),   
1991. Acker was also an opera librettist, a playwright, a performer, a                         
journalist, and a screenwriter. In the 1980's she worked with Richard Foreman on               
a play version of My Life, My Death which was presented at the Theatre de la                   
Bastille, Paris and on the opera-The Birth of a Poet. Among the many journalism                 
pieces she wrote during the last year of her life (including interviews with the               
Spice Girls and another with William Burroughs), she wrote "The Gift of Disease,"               
an article chronicling her experience with breast cancer for the London Guardian               
(Jan 1997). One of Acker's final writings, the opera "Requiem," commissioned by                 
the American Opera Project and performed in 1998, was first presented, in part,                 
in CTHEORY, a cultural theory Web zine edited by Arthur and Marilouise Kroker.                 
Although Acker never directly published any of her works on the Web, as Greg                   
Lindsay writes in his December 1997 memorial, "her multi-vocal style of writing                 
and her concern with 'plagiarizing' snippets of other texts only to spit them                   
back out transformed definitely prefigured" this technology.