In I Love Dick, published in 1997, Chris Kraus, author of Aliens & Anorexia, Torpor, and Video Green, boldly tore away the veil that separates fiction from reality and privacy from self-expression. It's no wonder that I Love Dick instantly elicited violent controversies and attracted a host of passionate admirers.
The story is gripping enough: in 1994 a married, failed independent filmmaker, turning forty, falls in love with a well-known theorist and endeavors to seduce him with the help of her husband. But when the theorist refuses to answer her letters, the husband and wife continue the correspondence for each other instead, imagining the fling the wife wishes to have with Dick. What follows is a breathless pursuit that takes the woman across America and away from her husband—and far beyond her original infatuation into a discovery of the transformative power of first person narrative.
I Love Dick is a manifesto for a new kind of feminist who isn't afraid to burn through her own narcissism in order to assume responsibility for herself and for all the injustice in world—and it's a book you won't put down until the author's final, heroic acts of self-revelation and transformation.
About the Author
Chris Kraus is the author of the novels Aliens and Anorexia, I Love Dick, and Summer of Hate as well as Video Green: Los Angeles Art and the Triumph of Nothingness and Where Art Belongs, all published by Semiotext(e). A Professor of Writing at the European Graduate School, she writes for various magazines and lives in Los Angeles.
“Ever since I read I Love Dick, I have revered it as one of the most explosive, revealing, lacerating, and unusual memoirs ever committed to the page . . . I Love Dick is never a comfortable read, and it is by turns exasperating, horrifying, and lurid, but it is never less than genuine, and often completely illuminating about the life of the mind.”—Rick Moody, Post Road
“Tart, brazen and funny. . . a cautionary tale, I Love Dick raises disturbing but compelling questions about female social behavior, power, control.”—The Nation
“A little masterpiece of late twentieth century literature.”—East Hampton Star
“The biggest art revelation of the year.”—The New Zealand Listener
“A clever, finely crafted crossover between life, love and cultural studies.”—Peter Beilharz, The Australian
“Devastatingly funny and sublime. . . a new classic.”—The Seattle Stranger
“But my favorite example of the genre is from nearly 20 years ago, and it’s by a woman. Chris Kraus’s “I Love Dick” offers the story of a woman named Chris Kraus—also an experimental filmmaker, just like the author—reckoning with her unrequited love for “Dick ____,” a cultural critic with whom she becomes obsessed. The narrative is an exploration of desire as something other than passivity or inadequacy (“I think desire isn’t lack, it’s surplus energy—a claustrophobia inside your skin”) and relentless romantic pursuit not as self-degradation but a kind of generative, creative act.”—Leslie Jamison, The New York Times