New York: TVRT Press/Printed Matter, 1978. 1st Trade Edition. 12mo, publisher’s stiff illustrated paper wraps.
First trade edition of postmodernist writer and performance artist Kathy Acker's first novel. Considered one of the most influential writers of her generation, Acker is known for her unclassifiable works that challenge traditional narrative structures by combining plagiarism, pastiche, and a punk rock sensibility. Originally issued as a self-published six-pamphlet serial in 1973, the story is narrated by a 16-year-old girl who fashions herself as a prostitute and murderer while copying down passages from erotic literature in which she envisions herself as the protagonist. While the Black Tarantula established Acker's reputation in the avant-garde art and literary world, she faced difficulty trying to get the book commercially published due to the text’s explicit content. In late 1974 artist Leandro Katz and critic Tim Castle of TVRT (The Vanishing Rotating Triangle Press) wrote a letter to Acker expressing interest in publishing the series in book form. This edition was co-produced by TVRT and Printed Matter in 1978, with a cover illustration by Katz. Detailed pencil drawing to last page by an early owner. Light rubbing and toning to wraps. Very good. Item #8363