Lydia Lunch

Introduction by Anthony Bourdain

Seven Stories Press (Summer 2019, world English rights)


In what could be presented as the “Essential Lydia Lunch,”   So Real It Hurts is a timely, sharp, and shocking collection of the best work from the legendary performer, writer, and iconoclast.

In addition to acerbic, often witty reflections on sex, drugs, life, and death, the book also takes aim at Donald Trump, motherhood, fashion, and misogyny.


“Lydia Lunch is an American icon.”

Austin American-Statesman

“One of the 10 most influential performers of the 90’s.”

Boston Phoenix

“Miss Lunch was always an effective vocal performer. But rock has grown complacent again— even the underground rock that has borrowed so much from Miss Lunch’s various bands over the years. Perhaps it’s time for her to administer it a few more rude shocks.”

Robert Palmer, New York Times

“Lunch has defined the underground music and art scene for over thirty years. Predictable only in her unpredictability, she has exploited every creative outlet at her disposal, from film to books, photography to poetry.”

SF Weekly

“Lydia Lunch is one of your dumb-ass country’s greatest fucking commentators, period. Lydia, I totally salute you!’

Everett True, The Stranger

“Before Marilyn Manson, before Courtney Love and before all the MTV lightweights made rage and controversy mere cheap commodities, there was punk poet queen of extremities Lydia Lunch…and her volatile narratives on life, death and all the bits in between. Unmissable.”

Angela Lewis, The Independent (UK)

“On Queen of Siam, Lydia Lunch . . . surprises her fans and a legion of japing nonbelievers by delivering a record that covers all the bases so well that it’s beyond words like calculated . . . Lunch stays busy by proving she can ‘sing’ (for those who care about such irrelevancies) and conjuring up memories of various grotesques like Peggy Lee, Nancy Sinatra, Petula Clark and Marlene Dietrich (though camp she ain’t). Lunch’s lyrics, while sometimes suffused with Catholic guilt, recognize the absurdity of that guilt’s flagellant trappings. Lydia Lunch isn’t sleazy, and sports a sense of humor about her persona and her music that collects increments of charm through successive cuts. Queen of Siam is a class act all the way.”

Lester Bangs, Rolling Stone


Praise for Paradoxia (Akashic, 2007):

“Lunch’s headlong plunge into manic devastation and corruption at times recalls the better work of William S. Burroughs…Strangely honest rantings from a modern-day Genet.”

Kirkus Reviews

“A lurid, profane account of downtown living.”

Newsday, “Our Favorites of 2007”

“Paradoxia is compelling, exhilarating, and infinitely readable.”


Paradoxia is very much a cultural document—a glimpse of the warts and-all attitude of someone who strove to be transgressive and often succeeded. Through streaming open-mike cadences, staccato scorn, and a highly attuned olfactory memory, Lunch captures the swoony, viscous downtown of yesteryear, when sex and the city meant something else entirely.”

Time Out New York (4 stars)

“Intoxicating. Dirty. Erotic. Damn, Lydia Lunch’s Paradoxia intrigues and resonates with every word…[It] is a seductive and redemptive story of lust—lust for satisfaction, for power, for solitude, and for understanding how to live.”

Feminist Review

“Paradoxia reveals that Lunch is at her best when she’s at her worst…and gives voice to her sometimes scary, frequently funny, always canny, never sentimental siren song.”

Barbara Kruger, Artforum

“Lydia Lunch often is compared to Hubert Selby, Jr. and Jean Genet. Reading Paradoxia, I see some Dostoevsky in her shattered protagonist and her unforgettable, murderous opening line…Paradoxia has a place in the literature of depravity, and like the good work in that genre, it’s intentionally funny.”



Hailed by Time Out as “one of the greatest New York performers of all time,” Lydia Lunch defies categorization. Few contemporary artists have forged a unique and varied artistic vision as successfully, or forcibly, during her long and notorious career.

Since bursting onto the late 1970’s New York City music scene at the age of 16 with her band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Lunch has released over two hundred music recordings, either as a solo artist, in collaborations, or as guest artist.

The poster-girl for the Whitney Museum of Art’s Underground Film Festival, she has appeared in more than fifty films, including the infamous, gut-wrenching films of director Richard Kern, with whom she worked in the 1980s. As a writer, she has published numerous works of literature, such as her 2007 novel Paradoxia (Akashic), which has been translated into 12 languages.

Lunch continues to record and tour the world with numerous music and spoken word projects, film work, and art exhibitions, and is the subject of “Lydia Lunch: The War is Never Over,” a forthcoming feature documentary by acclaimed underground filmmaker Beth B.


Please contact subagents for the following languages and territories:

Language/Territory Subagent
China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and VietnamBig Apple Agency
English outside North AmericaDavid Grossman Literary Agency
GermanPaul & Peter Fritz AG Literatur Agentur
GreekRead n' Right Agency
HebrewThe Deborah Harris Agency
ItalianThe Nabu International Literary Agency
JapaneseThe English Agency (Japan) Ltd
KoreanBC Agency, or Korea Copyright Center
PortugueseRIFF Agency
Russia/Baltics/Eastern EuropePrava I Prevodi
Scandinavia: Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, IcelandBrandt New Agency
Spanish in Latin AmericaInternational Editors' Co., S.A.
Spanish in SpainInternational Editors' Co., S.A.
TurkishAnatolialit Agency

For all other languages/territories, please contact Roam Agency.