High Risk: An Anthology of Forbidden Writings

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9780452265820: High Risk: An Anthology of Forbidden Writings

In an age of reality television that appears to have crossed all boundaries, it would seem that there are few subjects that haven't been broached. Yet, the provocative fiction, poetry and essays in High Risk explore the forbidden zones of illicit sex and obsessive behavior that few people dare. Fired by the conviction that art must be bound only by the limits of the imagination, the writers and artists featured in this collection, including William S. Burroughs, Dorothy Allison, and John Preston, fearlessly take on sadomasochism, prostitution, incest, drug use, bondage, and transsexuality. Uncompromisingly truthful, unusually explicit, and unfailingly adventurous, High Risk is an uncommon literary feat-a daring exploration of that culture of "otherness" that gives us our deepest sense of who we are and what we believe.

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About the Author:

Amy Scholder, a freelance editor of art, literary and nonfiction publications, has been editing books for High Risk Books/Serpent's Tail, Verso Books, Grove Press, Eyebeam Atelier, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Distributed Arts Publishers, Crown, Artspace Books and City Lights Publishers.

Ira Silverberg works in book publishing in New York. He co-edited "Word Virus: The Selected Writing of William S. Burroughs" (Grove 1998). Silverberg has been the Editor in Chief of Grove Press; the founding Publisher of High Risk Books/Serpent's Tail; and is now a literary agent. He serves of the Boards of PEN America Center, the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, the M.F.A. Writing Program of New School University and BOMB Magazine.

From Publishers Weekly:

According to the editors, this collection of essays, stories, poems and memoirs seeks to explore "the otherness of the junkie, the homosexual, the sadomasochist, the criminal, the prostitute, the marginalized" in the hope of "exposing the society in which we live." To mainstream society, however, much of the "otherness" of these testimonies is a given; as a result, this anthology simply presumes a cultural conflict that it refuses to elucidate, which can hardly be construed as risk-taking. The pieces themselves, with a few exceptions, are uninspired as either literary or ideological forays into the wilderness. William Burroughs offers a tired polemic in favor of drug decriminalization; Gary Indiana's story about gay encounters trods upon familiar fictive ground; and the coming-of-age stories and memoirs--by John Preston, Dorothy Allison and Jane Delynn--are proud paeans to homosexuality undermined by a plea for sympathy. Still, High Risk has its surprises: David Wojnarowicz's musical and dreamlike "Being Queer in America"; Terence Sellers's bizarre tract "Is There Life After Sadomasochism," in which Lord Byron, "an out-of-work libertine," visits a "viral" Manhattan. Scholder is an editor with City Lights Books; Silverberg is a literary agent.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Amy Scholder (Editor), Ira Silverberg (Editor)
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