Un/Masked: Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl on Tour
Donna Kaz (Author)
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DescriptionWinner of the 2017 Devil's Kitchen Reading Award in Prose Nonfiction An unknown actress on movie star's arm was how she began. An anonymous activist in a rubber gorilla mask is where she wound up. UN/MASKED: Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour follows the surprising twenty-five-year journey of a young artist, Donna Kaz, who is swept off her feet by Willliam Hurt, a rising star, and carried to a beach house in Malibu. The actor William Hurt introduces her to Hollywood's elite by day and knocks her head in by night. When OJ Simpson kills his former wife in Brentwood, a bell goes off and awakens her angry, activist spirit. Always an outsider, she takes one step further into invisibility and becomes a Guerrilla Girl, a feminist activist who never appears in public without wearing a rubber gorilla mask and who uses the name of a dead woman artist instead of her own. As a Guerrilla Girl, Aphra Behn creates comedic art and theatre that blasts the blatant sexism of the theatre world while proving feminists are funny at the same time. These two narratives--that of a young victim of domestic violence at the hands of a successful actor and that of an artist so fed up with sexism in the theatre world that she puts on a gorilla mask and takes the name of a dead woman artist to provoke change--have been lived by one woman. Donna Kaz offers her compelling first-hand account--illuminated by twenty behind-the-scenes photographs--of her transition from a silent observer to an unapologetic activist. This is the memoir of a woman-turned-survivor-turned-radical-feminist who takes off her mask and, by merging her identities, reveals all.
November 01, 2016
6.1 X 1.1 X 9.0 inches | 1.05 pounds
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About the Author
Donna Kaz is a multigenre writer. Her play JOAN was voted Best Production of 2000 by the Scranton Times and received a Jason Miller award for Excellence in Theatre. Her alter ego, Aphra Behn is a performer, playwright, producer, and the artistic director of Guerrilla Girls On Tour! They both live in New York City.
"In 1985, the Guerrilla Girls descended upon New York City with their powerful brand of feminism. In this moving memoir, writer and Guerrilla Girl Donna Kaz (also known as her alter ego, Aphra Behn) describes her journey from struggling actress to activist playwright who used art and humor to confront sexism and domestic abuse."--ELLE "Donna Kaz's book is more than a wildly entertaining snapshot of 80s art culture. More than an answer to the question of, "Who were those crazy feminist activists behind the gorilla masks?" It is a generous, fearless, often hilarious coming of age tale that takes Kaz from being a victim of domestic abuse in Hollywood to becoming an artist and part of one of the most unforgettable art protest groups of our time." - Elissa Schappell, If you've ever been curious about group organizing, Kaz provides plenty of details on the structure of meetings and how activists can discuss differences of identity and perspective while still striving to meet collective goals. Un/Masked exposes in thoughtful nuance what it's like to be an artist, a feminist, and a person recovering from abuse--and where artists today can expand on the work of the activists who came before."--Allison McCarthy, BITCH Magazine "Kaz really is a graduate of the school of hard knocks, in the most literal and visceral sense. . . In this often hilarious yet heartbreaking memoir, Kaz chronicles both her courageous struggle to overcome deep-seated emotional trauma and her ongoing involvement as a fierce advocate for women's rights both in the theater and in life." - Booklist "Fierce, funny and shrewd, much like the Guerrilla Girls themselves, Aphra Behn has written a memoir filled with so much hope and frustration it's impossible to put down. A page-turning how-to about changing the world, and the challenges therein." -Theresa Rebeck, playwright, television writer and novelist "UN/MASKED" is a vivid memoir of an eager, energetic woman of the theatre confronting sexism in love and art. It's also a rare first-hand account of life inside the famed Guerrilla Girls, those gorilla-masked artists and performers who made feminist protest daring, original and fun. - Katha Pollitt, author of Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights "A unique chronicle of an artist/warrior's journey through love, politics, creativity and violence, from someone who has lived through the social issues of our time. A compelling read and ride written in the voice of both an observer and participant of a most engaging and relevant life." - Patti Occhiuzzo Giggans -Executive Director, Peace Over Violence "I loved this book by a woman with dreams that don't get realized but she makes her life work, no matter what, and tells her story with such honesty and clarity.An incredible achievement. It is unique, original and Donna Kaz is what Arthur Penn would say, somethin' else." --Estelle Parsons, Oscar winning actress "Braiding the narrative of abuse with the urgent struggle of solidifying her place in theater, Kaz provides her readers with a dynamic story line that keeps us turning the pages in search of the ingredient that all women seek towards their empowerment."--Feminist Book Review "In alternating chapters and eras, Donna Kaz's memoir divulges her secret lives. In the '70s her public identity was that of a struggling actress and girlfriend of a famous Hollywood star, while privately she was a victim of domestic violence, chillingly addicted to her life-threatening relationship. Two decades later she began a nineteen-year career as an activist with the clandestine arts gender-justice warriors The Guerrilla Girls, granting the reader a security pass into a mysterious and renowned revolutionary arts secret society. A compelling and page-turning read, and a testament that fighters for fairness and justice are not born: they are made." --Kia Corthron, playwright and author of The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter "A rollicking ride of a memoir. Donna Kaz aka Aphra Behn takes us from Hollywood to Broadway and back with some wonderful twists and turns of real live feminist activism in between. UN/MASKED is a 21st century artist turned activist success story for the rest of us." - Kate Bornstein, author of A Queer and Pleasant Danger