New York

Kathy Acker

The Kitchen

Being a good storyteller in large part means having a good story to tell; Kathy Acker’s Great Expectations is a good story, an inventive series of burlesque vignettes, a venture through the seamy sides of the lives of a decadent cast of modern characters.

Acker’s writing is rich in visual and visceral texture; as she reads from her elevated podium, she shifts theatrical personae to take us from France to the bowels of Egypt to 73rd Street in New York where a husband and a wife have a quarrel that ends with the shooting of an unidentified four-year-old girl in a blue bonnet. The characters are a sex-crazed, unwanted poor girl who inherits a fortune, a nagging wife, an Italian terrorist, a catatonic who hates humans and can’t communicate, a tortured, mad letter writer who harasses God, Susan Sontag and the Mudd Club. After the sex and sadism, we end in a taxi; the ride costs a dollar.


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