The Horror of Normalcy: Katherine Dunn, Geek Love and Cult Literature
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Watzek Library, Lewis & Clark 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road, Portland OR 97219
This exhibition explores late Portland author Katherine Dunn's novel Geek Love and the reaction it elicited from readers through the personal and literary artifacts that have given Dunn status as a cult author and Portland treasure. The exhibition — curated by visiting Assistant Professor of English Michael Mirabile — will run through August 2017. A virtual exhibit can also be viewed online.
In 2015, Lewis & Clark Special Collections and Archives staff worked with Dunn to acquire and process her collection, gaining unprecedented visibility into the creative process of the influential writer. The collection includes early versions and translated copies of Dunn’s novels Attic (1970), Truck (1971) and Geek Love (1989), as well as notes, fan mail, and correspondence with and critiques by other cult authors such as Bret Easton Ellis, Gus Van Sant and Stephen King. In addition to original material, the exhibition includes Dunn’s collection of Geek Love fan art as weird and macabre as the novel itself.
Geek Love, which was a finalist for the 1989 National Book Award, emerged in a culturally distinct time in American history. The exhibition will pay respect to its place in time, a year that also saw the release of Bret Easton Ellis’ critically acclaimed dark novel American Psycho.