Linda S. Kauffman turns the pornography debate on its head with this audacious analysis of recent taboo-shattering fiction, film, and performance art. Investigating the role of fantasy in art, politics, and popular culture, she shows how technological advances in medicine and science (magnetic resonance imaging, computers, and telecommunications) have profoundly altered our concepts of the human body. Cyberspace is producing new forms of identity and subjectivity. The novelists, filmmakers, and performers in Bad Girls and Sick Boys are the interpreters of these brave new worlds, cartographers who are busy mapping the fin-de-millennium environment that already envelops us.
Bad Girls and Sick Boys offers a vital and entertaining tour of the current cultural landscape. Kauffman boldly connects the dots between the radical artists who shatter taboos and challenge legal and aesthetic conventions. She links writers like John Hawkes and Robert Coover to Kathy Acker and William Vollmann; filmmakers like Ngozi Onwurah and Isaac Julien to Brian De Palma and Gus Van Sant; and performers like Carolee Schneemann and Annie Sprinkle to the visual arts. Kauffman's lively interviews with J. G. Ballard, David Cronenberg, Bob Flanagan, and Orlan add an extraordinary dimension to her timely and convincing argument.
Linda S. Kauffman is Professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the author of Discourses of Desire: Gender, Genre and Epistolary Fictions (1986); Special Delivery: Epistolary Modes in Modern Fiction (1992); and editor of three collections of feminist essays, including American Feminist Thought at Century's End (1993).
"Bad Girls and Sick Boys is an exhilarating rollercoaster ride, a superb piece of cultural investigation that skillfully anatomies some of the most deviant imaginations at work today."—J. G. Ballard
"Linda Kauffman is the perfect guide through the troubling, erotically charged cultural environment she maps in Bad Girls and Sick Boys. She handles popular culture with sophistication and intelligence and addresses academic subjects with an engaging flair. Kauffman is alert, informed, clear-eyed, and most of all, entirely free of cant."—Anthony De Curtis
"Linda Kauffman is one of our most brilliant, savvy, and exciting observers of contemporary life. Bad Girls and Sick Boys is both tremendously entertaining and disturbing. Linda Kauffman's meditations on art, pornography, cinema, and literature fly powerfully against the grain of convention."—Howard Norman