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As a writer, critic and 'failed filmmaker', Chris Kraus has heavily influenced many of today's cultural undercurrents.' When her debut novel I Love Dick was published in 1997, it was at least a decade ahead of its time – an ironic, intertextual work playing in the fissures between life and fiction.
If I Love Dick’s early readers were few, its effect has blossomed over the years, as tides of readers discover Kraus’ depiction of a female antihero navigating – and failing to navigate – the professional, personal and sexual power dynamics stacked against her. Writers like Lena Dunham, Emily Gould and Sheila Heti have all remarked on the powerful impression I Love Dick has made on their own work.
Kraus’ more recent fiction – from Aliens & Anorexia to Torpor – has continued to challenge assumptions about feminist self-writing, and the nature of the boundaries between life and art. Her work as co-editor of Semiotext(e)’s Native Agents series (with Hedi El Kholti and Sylvère Lotringer), meanwhile, has helped to create space for other women authors to write, with frankness and confidence, about their own experiences.
Join Kraus as she discusses what it means to make art – and to live – as an intelligent, ambitious woman, and reflects on the outsized impact of her pseudo-confessional cult classic.
Chris Kraus is a writer and cultural critic whose novels include Torpor, Aliens & Anorexia and Summer of Hate. Her first book, I Love Dick, is considered a late-20th Century classic.
Kraus is coeditor of the influential publishing house Semiotext(e), which has presented groundbreaking works of economic and critical theory, literature, poetics and sexuality. Her critical biography of the American writer Kathy Acker will be published in the US in 2017.
Mel Campbell is a Melbourne-based freelance journalist, film and TV critic, and co-host of the fortnightly literature and culture podcast The Rereaders. Her first book was the non-fiction investigation Out of Shape: Debunking Myths about Fashion and Fit, and she’s the co-author of romantic comedy novel The Hot Guy due to be published in 2017.