Last Days at Hot Slit
The Radical Feminism of Andrea Dworkin
Distributed for Semiotext(e)
Selections from the work of radical feminist author Andrea Dworkin, famous for her antipornography stance and role in the feminist sex wars of the 1980s.
Radical feminist author Andrea Dworkin was a caricature of misandrist extremism in the popular imagination and a polarizing figure within the women's movement, infamous for her antipornography stance and her role in the feminist sex wars of the 1980s. She still looms large in feminist demands for sexual freedom, evoked as a censorial demagogue, more than a decade after her death. Among the very first writers to use her own experiences of rape and battery in a revolutionary analysis of male supremacy, Dworkin was a philosopher outside and against the academy who wrote with a singular, apocalyptic urgency.
Last Days at Hot Slit brings together selections from Dworkin's work, both fiction and nonfiction, with the aim of putting the contentious positions she's best known for in dialogue with her literary oeuvre. The collection charts her path from the militant primer Woman Hating (1974), to the formally complex polemics of Pornography (1979) and Intercourse (1987) and the raw experimentalism of her final novel Mercy (1990). It also includes “Goodbye to All This” (1983), a scathing chapter from an unpublished manuscript that calls out her feminist adversaries, and “My Suicide” (1999), a despairing long-form essay found on her hard drive after her death in 2005.
Paperback$17.95 T | £13.99 ISBN: 9781635900804 408 pp. | 5.375 in x 8 in
Fateman and Scholder's anthology is useful as a primer on works by a figure consigned to the radical fringe of feminist discourse.
Dworkin wants us to look straight at those questions in feminism that are the most delicate, the most painful, where women have the most to lose. Dworkin had reason to be angry: Her life was marked by the kind of male violence that is disturbingly common yet consistently goes unacknowledged.
Dworkin became the ultimate symbol of radical feminism for a generation coming of age in the 1970s and '80s. This collection of her fiction and nonfiction mixes her most controversial writing with autobiography, like “My Suicide,” an essay discovered after her death in 2005.
New York Times Book Review, "New and Noteworthy"
So what is it in Dworkin's long-neglected oeuvre that has suddenly become resonant? Perhaps it's simply because we're in a moment of crisis, when people seeking solutions are dusting off all sorts of radical ideas. But I think it's more than that. Dworkin was engaged, as many women today are engaged, in a pitched cultural battle over whose experiences and assumptions define our common reality.
New York Times
Yet time has smoothed many of Dworkin's rough edges. As her overheated rhetoric cools, what is left is the singlemindedness of a woman who courted disgrace, harassment, and mockery in pursuit of liberation. If her tactics were flawed and her polemics often excessive to the point of camp, her ability to trace the awful vitality of sexism is still resonant. “Equality is a practice,” she wrote. “It is an action. It is a way of life. It is a social practice. It is an economic practice. It is a sexual practice. It can't exist in a vacuum.” The book reintroduces her as a revolutionary thinker unafraid to be the stereotypical “angry woman.” Indeed, she embraced that role. She was an artist of rage, alternately poetic and ridiculous, incisive and messy, compelling and tedious.
It's book that a new generation of feminists should want to get their hands on.
The book is a mirror for what I've been afraid of for years: being defiant, being ugly, being unloved by men, even being unloved by other feminists like Andrea Dworkin.
Nona Willis Aronowitz
New York Magazine's The Cut
Last Days At Hot Slit pays homage to the Marchiano-era Dworkin, to the anachronistic anti-porn persona everyone loves to hate, but along the way, it makes some much-needed jagged cuts.
The Daily Beast