Kathy Acker (1947-1997) was a rare and almost inconceivable thing: a celebrity experimental writer. Twenty-five years after her death, she remains one of the most original, shocking, and controversial artists of her era. The author of transgressive novels like Blood and Guts in High School; Empire of the Senses; and Pussy, King of Pirates, Acker wrote about the treachery of love, the limitations of language, and the possibility of revolution.
Smart and sympathetic but hardheaded ... McBride’s book follows Chris Kraus’s 2017 biography, After Kathy Acker. Kraus is a powerfully original writer, and her book is quirkier ... McBride is more dispassionate.
Brisk, lively book ... Though Eat Your Mind is billed as the first 'full-scale authorized biography,' it tells much the same story, using many of the same sources, as Chris Kraus does in her 2017 book, After Kathy Acker. The main difference is tonal: whereas Kraus...writes with the ambivalence of an intimate, McBride writes with the adulation of a fan ... While McBride tends to forgive Acker’s indiscretions, Kraus can be critical.