I Love Dick
When Chris Kraus, an unsuccessful artist pushing 40, spends an evening with a rogue academic named Dick, she falls madly and inexplicably in love, enlisting her husband in her haunted pursuit. Dick proposes a kind of game between them, but when he fails to answer their letters Chris continues alone, transforming an adolescent infatuation into a new form of philosophy. Blurring the lines of fiction, essay and memoir, Chris Kraus's novel was a literary sensation when it was first published in 1997. Widely considered to be the most important feminist novel of the past two decades, I Love Dick is still essential reading; as relevant, fierce and funny as ever.The novel's cult following has ensured a steady undercurrent of buzz since its first publication twenty years ago, with high-profile champions as diverse as Lena Dunham, Sheila Heti, Kim Gordon, Leslie Jamison and Alexa Chung
The first hardback publication of the cult novel adored by feminists and fashionistas alike
I know there was a time before I read Chris Kraus's I Love Dick (in fact, that time was only five years ago), but it's hard to imagine; some works of art do this to you. They tear down so many assumptions about what the form can handle (in this case, what the form of the novel can handle) that there is no way to re-create your mind before your encounter with them -- Sheila Heti Tart, brazen and funny ... a cautionary tale, I Love Dick raises disturbing but compelling questions about female social behavior, power, control Nation 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 For years before I read it, I kept hearing about Chris Kraus's I Love Dick. I mainly heard about it from smart women who liked to talk about their feelings ... I didn't understand exactly what it was, but it had an allure, like whispers about a dance club that only opened under the full moon, or an underground bar you needed a password to get into ... then I read it. I was nearly two decades late to the party - I Love Dick came out in 1997 - but I loved the party anyway. I was finally part of it, and it made me feel even more part of it - part of something ... I was holding white-hot text in my hands -- Leslie Jamison New Yorker I Love Dick is a written in a clear prose capable of theoretical clarity, descriptive delicacy, articulate rage and melancholic longing White Review I Love Dick is a classic. Here pain is the aphrodisiac and distance is the muse. Unrequited love is transformed into a fascinating book of ideas. -- Zoe Pilger This book comes with a reputation, though it's not the one you might expect from the title, which leaps from the gorgeous, faux-innocent cover. Chris Kraus's "novel" was first published in the US in 1997 and has become recognised as both an influential feminist text and a key intervention in the debate over where life-writing ends and fiction begins ... What remains so brilliant about the book is the real, useful thought that Kraus builds out of her romantic fantasy ... You can call it a novel, then, but it's as a philosophical and cultural critique that I Love Dick bites hardest. -- Jonathan Gibbs The Independent This is the most important book written about men and women written in the last century... why is this revolutionary 18-year-old book finding its biggest audience only now? The answer lies in its own pages, when Kraus writes that "who gets to speak, and why, is the only question". In the last half a decade, women have been permitted to speak in a different way than before; women artists who use details of their own lives in their work are not as easily dismissed as they once were. The internet enables hordes of frightened, anonymous men to try to silence women via harassment and shaming, but it has also enabled our voices to be heard on a grander scale, with fewer intermediaries, than ever before. We are able to write our own letters to Dick now, and to publish them widely: to tell Dick exactly what we think of him, whether he likes it or not.This book will only become more relevant. Its time is now - and now, and now, for the rest of eternity. -- Emily Gould The Guardian I Love Dick is one of the most important books about being a woman ... Friends speak of Kraus's work in the same breathless and conspiratorial way they discuss Elena Ferrante's novels of female friendship set in Naples. The clandestine clubbishness that envelopes women who've read and immersed themselves in the texts shows how little female desire, anger and vulnerability is accurately and confidently explored in literature and culture ... the book reveals far deeper truths than standard and uncomplicated love plots tend to. -- Dawn Foster Independent Read this on the bus - we dare you Sunday Times Style
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. A Professor of Writing at the European Graduate School, she writes for various magazines and lives in Los Angeles.