Kathy Acker

50 Essential Cult Novels

Just what is a cult novel? Well, like so many literary terms, the edges blur whenever you try to look right at them, but in the end, you sort of know one when you read one. Sometimes a cult novel is one that the critics panned but the fans love, or sometimes it’s one that both readers and critics love, but a certain contingent of readers really love. Any book with a squadron of rabid fans swearing that it changed their lives quickly seems cultish. Cult novels often come from the fringes, they often represent countercultural perspectives, they often experiment with form. Here are 50 of the… Read More

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10 Great Books by Women That James Franco Desperately Needs to Read

When you write about culture on a pretty constant basis, James Franco is sometimes like a good old friend who shows up exactly when you need him, always there to say or do something that you can write about. In terms of books, which I believe is Franco’s preferred side gig to his acting, Franco should be commended because there are few celebrities aside from maybe Oprah or now Stephen Colbert who do as much to help more casual readers discover new writers, and that’s a good thing. But… … Read More

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Gabriel García Márquez on Shakira and 5 Other Authors’ Fascinating Rock Star Profiles

“The most amazing thing about the Shakira phenomenon is the craze that has gripped masses of children.” The late Gabriel García Márquez wrote that in his 2002 profile on Shakira for The Guardian. Even when covering one of the biggest pop stars in the world, the Nobel Prize winner’s music writing doesn’t rank anywhere near his classics like One Hundred Years of Solitude or Love in the Time of Cholera, but it does earn a spot alongside a few of our other favorite rock star/writer pairings. … Read More

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25 Books Every Writer Should Read

The hard work, the MFA vs. NYC debate, the negativity, the importance of a good Twitter account, the parties you have to go to, the readings you have to do, the people you should meet, the agents you need to impress — amid all the different ways writers have found to obsess over what it takes to be successful, we sometimes forget the most important thing of all: great writers need to be great readers. Of course, you can’t read everything, but once you’ve moved past the totally obvious titles, consider adding these 25 books to your TBR… Read More

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Celebrate William S. Burroughs’ 100th Birthday With 12 Cultural Icons on His Influence

There are about a hundred tags one could pin to William S. Burroughs, from lunatic to revolutionary, and just about everything in between. He is one of the most misunderstood artists of the last century — and also one of the most influential, his dirty fingerprint smudged all over the culture, from noise music to the films of David Cronenberg. To celebrate his 100th birthday, we’re looking back at some of the icons who Burroughs had an impact on. It’s an impressive roster of names, but these 12 barely scratch the surface when it comes to just how far his influence… Read More

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An Essential Punk Literature Reading List

It doesn’t take name-dropping Black Flag or writing a scene where a character gets her first mohawk to know that the book you’re reading is influenced in some way or another by the punk scene. Jeff Jackson’s mesmerizing debut, Mira Corpora, which reads like some cross between Bruno Schulz and the backstories of random characters from Penelope Spheeris’ 1984 film Suburbia, is that kind of book. … Read More

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The Doubles: 10 Pairs of Great Books With the Same Titles

There must be something in the water this spring — that’s the water the publishing industry all drinks, that is. This month, Algonquin is publishing Jill McCorkle’s novel Life After Life, and in April, Reagan Arthur/Little, Brown will come out with Kate Atkinson’s, er, Life After Life. Oops! Both novels, as it happens, are quite good (and are sharing top billing as the American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next Pick in April), and we’re looking forward to “accidentally” having to buy them both. Intrigued by this phenomenon, we dug around for other examples of two great books sporting the same title — though none of our other pairs were born so close to one another. Check them out after the jump, and let us know if we missed any of your favorite titular doppelgangers in the comments. … Read More

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20 Highly Sexy Photos of Highbrow Authors [NSFW]

If you’re reading this, like as not you are one of those who thrilled at the shirtless photo of Mark Twain that has been recently making its rounds around the Internet. Here at Flavorpill, we were so — ahem — excited by the snapshot that we decided to round up a few other highly sexy photos of highbrow authors from the last two centuries. After all, authors posing in various states of undress is a trend that shows no signs of dying out — you’ll be able to get your paws on a whole calendar of “nearly nude” Canadian authors later in the year. Check out some scandalous writers after the jump — and since sexy is subjective, link us to any unbearably steamy author photos you’ve found in the comments. But casual readers be warned: there is full frontal male and female nudity in this post. … Read More

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Literary Ink: Famous Authors and Their Tattoos

For some reason, writers and tattoos don’t necessarily spring to mind as a natural pairing — we tend to imagine authors decked out in sleeves of tweed and corduroy, not ink. But more and more authors are showing off their tattoos nowadays, and even some classic writers are a little more tatted up than you might think: George Orwell supposedly sported bright blue dots on his knuckles, and Dorothy Parker wore a star on her elbow. Since we’re always interested in finding out a little bit more about the internal lives of our favorite writers, we decided to explore a few of their tattoos, from the simple to the expansive, the cheeky to the deadly serious. Check out some awesome writer ink after the jump. … Read More

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The All-Time Coolest Author/Musician Collaborations

Collaborations between musicians and authors seem obvious, like they should happen all the time, but the truth is, good ones don’t come along that often. Earlier this month, however, author, poet, and memoirist Mary Karr released her first album, Kin, in collaboration with country singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell, and boy is it good. Though we might be a little biased since we’ve always been die-hard Mary Karr fans, we love the album, which combines Karr’s sublime poetry with Crowell’s formidable musical talent. Inspired by their collaboration, we got to thinking about other fantastic author/musician pairs, from the time Kurt Cobain and William S. Burroughs recorded a Christmas album together to the time Bono hacked a Rushdie novel for lyrics. Click through to see a few of our favorites, and let us know if we’ve missed one of yours in the comments. … Read More

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