Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Pussy King of the Pirates

by Kathy Acker

“Acker discards, mangles, and rewrites literary conventions. Using words as weapons to smash her way into modernity, she pushes language to the tension point, explodes and reclaims it. What emerges is a new way of writing, ensuring Acker’s place at the backbone of America’s postmodern literature.” –Boston Sunday Herald

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 288
  • Publication Date January 14, 1997
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-3484-4
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $13.50

About The Book

Kathy Acker was a major figure in postmodern literature for many years. Pussy, King of the Pirates takes her original, experimental style one step further, marking the apex of Acker’s abilities as a hypnotic and daring storyteller.

Loosely related to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island, Pussy, King of the Pirates is a grrrl pirate story that journeys from the most famous whorehouse in Alexandria though an unidentified, crumbling city that may or may not be sometime in the future, to Brighton Town, England, and, finally, to a ship headed toward Pirate Island, where the stories converge and the vision ends.

Ransacking world history, literature, and language itself to speak to the current zeitgeist, Pussy, King of the Pirates is the literary analogue to the wild girl energy that dominates our rock and roll culture in the 1990s.

A daring and passionate litany of disparate narratives and voices, poetry and prose, words and images, Kathy Acker’s newest novel is perhaps her most subversive to date. Her meditations on love, sex, death, and art have made her a writer like no one else working today.

Praise

“Ahoy ye maties! Are you ready for this ride through time zones and centuries, into subterranean worlds and onto the high seas to sail for treasure? . . . Acker gives readers a lot to chew on here – original sin, alienation, relations between men and women and between women and women, women’s independence, and self-determination. As readers step into this cauldron of characters, the real adventure begins.” –Library Journal

“Once again displaying her penchant – and talent – for scavenging extant texts, Acker exploits Robergt Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and Pauline Reage’s The Story of O . . . fusing the carnal, the cerebral, and the surreal into a fantastical tale . . . campy and enigmatic . . . she detonates her battery of literary and sexual references in order to illuminate themes of masochism and rebellion . . . it’s also often funny and invariably intelligent.” –Publishers Weekly

“[Kathy Acker’s] twitchy genius lies in the realm of the realm of half-remembered dreams. Pussy reads and sounds like the work of people who know exactly know what they’re doing, even if part of their mission is to keep you from making easy categorizations. You can’t easily categorize dreams, either, but when they’re this provocative, you hope you have them again.” –Hotwired

“[Acker] is more than a dirty talker. She is a storyteller par excellence, and her hardness is balanced by a goofy humor.” –The Seattle Times

“Acker’s book is a love letter in the best sense – a meditation on the magic of sexual energy.” –New York’s Literary Supplement

“No one can touch Acker’s brutish, poetic, hyper-recombinant penstrokes . . . and she’s in top form here.” –Raygun

“Acker’s voice, with its peculiar mix of expansiveness and abruptness, grows more sophisticated and certain with each novel.” –Artforum

Awards

One of Artforum’s top ten books of 1995.