in conversation with
Mark McCawley: Any writer of transgressive, erotic, surreal writing is bound to be influenced in some fashion by the works and accomplishments of the late Kathy Acker. That said, how did it feel to win the 2014 Acker Award for Fiction (New York)?
Bonny Finberg: While Acker’s influence is probably felt by a generation of writers who came of age in the ‘80s and 90s, there have been many who were considered transgressive, erotic and surreal in their work before Kathy Acker came on the scene. In fact, one of her greatest influences, I believe, was William Burroughs. Considering that Acker and I were born in approximately the same year, we probably had similar influences. We came of age during a time when breaking rules and boundaries, literary, social, political, etc. was almost the norm. For many of us, writers like Burroughs and Kerouac held much influence, the power of using language in a way that the plastic arts had been experimenting with even earlier. Of course Gertrude Stein, another influence of mine, had broken real ground in this way, well before any of these guys had learned how to hold a pen. And, there would be no Kerouac, in my opinion, without Joyce. Read more