The Reality Shows by Karen Finley

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"Ms. Finley hasn't lost the power to disturb."—Ben Brantley, The New York Times

No other contemporary performing artist has captured the psychological complexity of this decade's political and social milestones as Karen Finley has in the past ten years. In her inimitable style, Finley has embodied some of the most troubling figures to cast a long shadow on the public imagination, and has envisioned a kind of catharsis within each drama: Liza Minnelli responds to the September 11 attacks; Terri Schaivo explains why Americans love a woman in a coma; Martha Stewart dumps George W. Bush during their tryst on the eve of the Republican National Convention; Silda Spitzer tells the former governor why "I'm sorry" just isn't enough; Jackie O cries, "Please stop looking at me!"

The Reality Shows is a revelation of a decade by one of our greatest interpreters of popular and political culture.

Karen Finley's raw and transgressive performances have long provoked controversy and debate. She has appeared and exhibited her visual art, performances, and plays internationally. The author of many books, including A Different Kind Of Intimacy, George & Martha, and Shock Treatment, she is a professor at the Tisch School of Art and Public Policy at NYU.

Kathleen Hanna, activist and writer, was the lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill before fronting the dance-punk band Le Tigre. She released a solo album under the name Julie Ruin.


About Karen Finley

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Francine Prose is the author of nine novels. Karen Finley is a New York-based performance artist and author. Dario Fo was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1997. Charles Simic is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, essayist, and translator.
Published February 22, 2011 by The Feminist Press at CUNY. 220 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Reality Shows

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If trauma is as definitive as Finley and her psychoanalytic angels (Freud, Jung, indistinct pop-psych) suggest, it is likely that we—to borrow the national, communal "we" Finley favors—are not ready to revisit the fractious times that gave rise to these performances, which address such Bush II–er...

Mar 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Reality Shows

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