Celebrity gives us the opportunity to see some small part of ourselves writ large. Some public figures factor more prominently in our thoughts than others, maybe too much. We become fascinated, inspired, even repelled. In these daring essays, some of the most provocative writers of our time offer a private view on a public figure, and in doing so, reveal themselves.
• Mary Gaitskill on Linda Lovelace
• Rick Moody on Karen Dalton
• Johanna Fateman on Andrea Dworkin
• Hanne Blank on MFK Fisher
• Kate Zambreno on Kathy Acker
• Danielle Henderson on bell hooks
• Justin Vivian Bond on Karen Graham
• Jill Nelson on Aretha Franklin
• Zoe Pilger on Mary Gaitskill
"Porn, oysters, abjection: Icon, a smart plunge into fandom's sober fringe, will excite anyone who has ever harbored ambivalent and obsessive love for an idol. Uncanny affinities tie together the essays in this compelling collection, packed with surprising detours, punchy revelations, and a refreshing abundance of unconventionality. For the methods and intimacies of Icon, I feel a satisfying surge of kinship."
"The writers in Icon are icons in their own right, their words bluntly confessional more than devotional. These essays are batons--pass them forward."
"These nine exquisite essays piece together dazzling mirror shards of biography, memoir, and homage. Seeking to live in community with great souls past and present, the writers gathered here forge electric collaborations with the dead, the lost, the rued, the canonized, and the newly loved."
"Icon illustrates the multiple ways in which we construct and read identity, and what it means to envy, adore, worship, and hate public figures. In a culture obsessed with celebrity, Icon reminds us that our icons say a lot about ourselves."