Chris Kraus on Post-Punk Literary Icon Kathy Acker

Until her untimely death in 1997, post-punk icon Kathy Acker terrorised the literary scenes in New York and, later, London with novels that mixed raw, diaristic writing with formal innovation and searing intellect. At the height of her career, she achieved the kind of cross-over fame that other writers could only dream of. Yet by the end of the 90s, the image that she had created for herself – the peroxide blonde crop, extensive tattoos and gothic wardrobe – had largely taken over scholarly reading of her work. In After Kathy Acker , Chris Kraus , author of the cult novel I Love Dick , makes a persuasive argument for why we should be taking Kathy Acker more seriously. I caught up with her via Skype to discuss autofiction, the myth of the genius and how to write a truthful biography. Chloe Stead: After Kathy Acker opens with the scattering of Acker’s ashes, but before the reader is given a picture of what happened there, you warn us about the fragility of these memories. What was your decision process in starting the biography this way? Chris Kraus: Writing a biography – like writing any history – is highly subjective […]

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