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Valerie Solanas


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Promotional Information

National campaign to print and online media
Excerpts on feminist blogs
Social Media Campaign and promotion on Feministpress.org
Book Launch events including symposium and performance tributes in New York City and San Francisco
National campaign to celebrate Valerie's birthday on April 9
VALERIE LIVES! graphic/social media campaign

About the Author

Breanne Fahs is an associate professor of women and gender studies at Arizona State University, where she specializes in studying women's sexuality, critical embodiment studies, radical feminism, and political activism. She has a BA in women's studies/gender studies and psychology from Occidental College and a PhD in women's studies and clinical psychology from the University of Michigan. She has published widely in feminist, social science, and humanities journals, as well as the books Performing Sex with SUNY Press (2011) and The Moral Panics of Sexuality (2013). She is the director of the Feminist Research on Gender and Sexuality Group at Arizona State University, and also works as a private practice clinical psychologist specializing in sexuality, couples work, and trauma recovery.


“There’s no question that Solanas’s belief in the necessaity of theorizing “from the gutter” would have her denouncing today’s inclusive, increasingly professional landscape of feminism. But perhaps she can rest easier (if not in peace) knowing that Fahs has painted a sympathetic portrait of her uncompromising life that—for better and worse—wears its powerful ugliness on its sleeve.” —LA Review of Books

“Solanas was a revolutionary artist, and the more time passes, the more significant and prescient her revolution appears to have been, which is in many ways all she ever cared about. How magnificently powerful, to maintain humor, insight, and self-confidence in the face of so much violence. A biography of Valerie Solanas then, hell yeah. You should go read her manifesto and then you should go read this.” —The Brooklyn Rail

"Rather than focusing on the Warhol shooting, Fahs gives a refreshing degree of weight to not only SCUM Manifesto—and its contribution to the birth of radical feminism—but also to Solanas’s earlier writings and creative pursuits, such as her playwriting and attempts at publishing in periodicals. Fahs, who interviewed her subject’s family, friends, enemies, as well as Warhol associates, doesn’t shy away from how hated and feared Solanas was by many feminists of the era, such as Betty Friedan, but she portrays Solanas as melancholy, warm, and emotionally broken, as well as violent and combative. While some characters pop up and drop away depending on their relevance to Solanas’s life in the moment, giving a disjointed feel to the narrative, Fahs ably fills a notable gap in feminist history with this accessible volume." —Publishers Weekly

"Valerie Solanas is a biography of a compelling, charismatic, contemptible, and incorrigible woman. It is a biography of the effects of class in the United States on one woman’s life. It is also the biography of an artist. Fahs ends with Solanas’s own words from her 1977 corrected SCUM Manifesto: 'The true artist is every self-confident, healthy female; and in a female society, the only Art, the only Culture, will be conceited, kookie, funkie females grooving on each other, cracking each other up, while cracking open the universe.'"—Lambda Literary Review

“This is an astonishing book about an astonishing life. It is a stark epic of a woman who was a symbol in and of an era. Valerie Solanas tells us many of the brutal facts of Valerie’s existence, both before she exploded onto the scene in New York in the mid to late 1960s, as well as afterward. She was larger than life: a genuinely heroic figure. What I appreciate most about Fahs’s biography is that Valerie Solanas emerges with a dignity that escaped her in life.” —Ti-Grace Atkinson, author of Amazon Odyssey

“Valerie Solanas was an enigma, an outsider even among misfits, and one of the most shocking radicals in a decade teeming with them. Breanne Fah’s book is a long overdue excavation of the obsessions, paranoia, and rage that fueled both Solanas’s visionary manifesto and her appalling attempt to murder Warhol.” —Cynthia Carr, author of Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnariowicz

“Finally, a biography of Valerie Solanas that does justice to her brilliant SCUM Manifesto and tragic life. In this narrative, Andy Warhol no longer defines who Valerie was. Breanne Fahs has written a compelling masterpiece sure to become a classic.” —Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Outlaw Woman

“Breanne Fahs delivers the crucial backstory behind the deadly yet relevant aims of premier cultural deviant, Valerie Solanas, whose often indefensible edges, war cries, and logic of injury continue to haunt our era of desperate justice.” —Avita Ronell, author of Crack Wars

“Valerie Solanas finally provides an in-depth, decade-spanning history of Valerie’s life, including mid-teen pregnancies, anti-essentialist college newspaper rebuttals, SCUM lectures, Up Your Ass casting calls, transience, letters of grammatical corrections to Majority Report, a continual emphasis from various sources on Valerie’s intelligence, radicalism, humor, comedic improve timing, and intensity, and thorough discussions of her work dismantling and repudiating sexuality, gender, morality, marriage, the money system, and the patriarchical status quo.” —Natt Ann Carrera, musician

“This compelling biography shows the complexity of Valerie Solanas, placing her in the context of so many later-twentieth-century cultural realities-the commodity explosion of the art world, nuclear family damage and dysfunction, emergent baby-boomer generation narcissism, and the complicated internal struggles of the feminist movement.” —Catherine Morris, Sackler Family Curator at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art

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