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Blood and Guts in High School

176 pages, 2017



1382 books

In the 1970s and 1980s, Kathy Acker was an influential American post-punk experimental feminist writer. Her book Blood and Guts in High School is now considered a masterpiece of surrealist fiction.  

However, upon its first publication in 1984, it was met with controversy from many in the literary establishment. 

It was also the book that established Acker as the preeminent voice of post-punk feminism and has been described as “the most nihilistic work of fiction in recent memory” by critic Greil Marcus. In 2017, marking the 10th year since her death on February 18, 2009, and her 70th birth anniversary on November 8, 2017, Blood and Guts in High School continues to be relevant.

Exploring the Unconventional Narrative

Kathy Acker's Blood and Guts in High School is not your typical novel. It breaks away from traditional storytelling, using a mix of drawings, dream narratives, and diary entries. This unique style encourages readers to explore different ways of understanding and interpreting a story.

The Power of Feminist Literature

Acker's book is a powerful example of feminist literature. It challenges societal norms and expectations of women, encouraging readers to question these standards. If you're interested in feminist literature, you should definitely check out this book.

The Theme of Identity

One of the key themes in Blood and Guts in High School is identity. The protagonist, Janey, struggles with her sense of self throughout the book. This exploration of identity can help readers reflect on their own self-perception and personal growth.

The Role of Sexuality

Sexuality plays a significant role in the book. Acker uses it as a tool to explore power dynamics and personal freedom. This can be a thought-provoking read for those interested in understanding the complexities of sexuality.

The Impact of Trauma

Acker doesn't shy away from discussing trauma in her book. She explores how trauma can shape a person's life and influence their decisions. This can be a valuable read for those looking to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of trauma.


Quotes 5

Acker's work is a revolutionary act of literary defiance, a masterpiece that challenges the conventional norms of narrative.

William S. BurroughsWilliam S. Burroughs - Beat Generation Author

Acker's 'Blood and Guts in High School' is a daring exploration of the human psyche, a fearless dive into the depths of desire and despair.

Susan SontagSusan Sontag - Cultural Critic

Acker's novel is a raw, unflinching examination of the human condition, a work of art that is as disturbing as it is enlightening.

Angela CarterAngela Carter - Magic Realism Writer

Acker's 'Blood and Guts in High School' is a literary tour de force, a novel that pushes the boundaries of what literature can be and do.

J.G. BallardJ.G. Ballard - Post-Apocalyptic Novelist

Acker's novel is a powerful exploration of the human spirit, a book that is as challenging as it is rewarding.

Jeanette WintersonJeanette Winterson - Contemporary Novelist
William S. BurroughsSusan SontagAngela CarterJ.G. BallardJeanette Winterson


authorAmanda Palmer

Amanda Palmer


Blood and Guts in High School found in libraries

187 books

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