Summer of Hate

Summer of Hate

by Chris Kraus

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Overview

Baudrillard meets Breaking Bad in this stark and bleakly hilarious novel about a descent into an underclass world of born-again Christianity, self-help, and crack.

“In his journal, Paul liked to make lists: What he ordered from Commissary (shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant, the transistor radio he had for a week before the guards took it away). The books he picked off the cart (The Bible, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Codependent No More.) What phone calls he made and received; also, Bible Study certificates, letters and cards, his workout routines and his moods (Anxious, Nervous, Trusting in God, but mostly Depressed). Paul has a record of every push-up he did while he was in prison but he cannot remember shit about what happened before his arrest.”
—from Summer of Hate

Waking up from the chilling high of a near-death sex game, Catt Dunlop travels to Albuquerque in 2005 to reinvest some windfall real-estate gains and reengage with something approximating “real life.” Aware that the critical discourse she has used to build her career as a visiting professor and art critic is really a cipher for something else, she hopes that buying and fixing slum buildings will bring her more closely in touch with American life than the essays she writes.

In Albuquerque, she becomes romantically involved with Paul Garcia, a recently sober ex-con who has just served sixteen months in state prison for defrauding Halliburton Industries, his former employer, of $873. Almost forty years old, Paul is highly intelligent but has only been out of New Mexico twice. He has no information. With Catt's help, he makes plans to attend UCLA, only to be arrested on a ten-year-old bench warrant en route.

Caught in the nightmarish Byzantine world of the legal system, Catt and Paul's empathic attempts to save each other's lives seems doomed to dissolve. Summer of Hate is a novel about flawed reciprocity and American justice, recording recent events through the prism of a beleaguered romance. As lucid and trenchant as ever, Kraus in her newest novel reminds us that the writer can be a first responder of sorts when power becomes invisible, or merely banal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781584351139
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 08/03/2012
Series: Semiotext(e) / Native AgentsSeries Series
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Chris Kraus is the author of four novels, including I Love Dick and Summer of Hate; two books of art and cultural criticism; and most recently, After Kathy Acker: A Literary Biography. She received the College Art Association's Frank Jewett Mather Award in Art Criticism in 2008, and a Warhol Foundation Art Writing grant in 2011. She lives in Los Angeles.

What People are Saying About This

Keith Gessen

From Critical Theory California, Chris Kraus now moves closer to the diseased heart of the USA: dried-out, drugged-out, paranoid New Mexico. Reading this book is like watching a car crash happen in slow motion. Very few writers are as intelligent and honest as Kraus—and no one sees so clearly.

Janine Armin

Chris Kraus cuts a new and insatiably clever line in this explosive new work, breaking down big themes like art writing, romance, and capitalism, within a wildly expansive take on the thriller.

Danzy Senna

Summer of Hate is as disturbing, powerful and original as anything I've read in recent years, creating an existential noir out of the American landscape, the Southwest, the industrial prison system. A writer, in hiding from her would-be killer, cobbles together a community of misfits. A recovering addict is out of jail and seeking redemption, though everywhere he turns he finds traps. Avert your eyes if you don't like the truth. Freedom—both personal and political–is revealed as painfully illusive in this gripping novel.

New York Times - Holland Cotte

Chris Kraus is one of our smartest and most original writers on art and culture.

Endorsement

Chris Kraus is one of our smartest and most original writers on art and culture.

Holland Cotte, New York Times

From the Publisher

From Critical Theory California, Chris Kraus now moves closer to the diseased heart of the USA: dried-out, drugged-out, paranoid New Mexico. Reading this book is like watching a car crash happen in slow motion. Very few writers are as intelligent and honest as Kraus—and no one sees so clearly.

Keith Gessen, author of All the Sad Young Literary Men

Chris Kraus cuts a new and insatiably clever line in this explosive new work, breaking down big themes like art writing, romance, and capitalism, within a wildly expansive take on the thriller.

Janine Armin, Joyland

Summer of Hate is as disturbing, powerful and original as anything I've read in recent years, creating an existential noir out of the American landscape, the Southwest, the industrial prison system. A writer, in hiding from her would-be killer, cobbles together a community of misfits. A recovering addict is out of jail and seeking redemption, though everywhere he turns he finds traps. Avert your eyes if you don't like the truth. Freedom—both personal and political–is revealed as painfully illusive in this gripping novel.

Danzy Senna, author of You Are Free: Stories

Chris Kraus is one of our smartest and most original writers on art and culture.

Holland Cotte, New York Times

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