A Crackup at the Race Riots is a novel by Harmony Korine, first published in the US on April 1, 1998, by Doubleday. It was later published in Japan in October of 1998 by Rockin'on Inc. and also in the UK on March 15, 1999, by Faber and Faber. A German translation, Wunschliste eines Bastards (A Bastard's Wishlist), published by Tropen, followed a short time later in December of 1999. There is also a French translation, Craques coupes et Meutes Raciales, published by Al Dante in March of 2002.
When once asked how he would describe the book, Korine answered:
I probably wouldn't. I'd probably just read it. I think any attempt to really describe something or to categorize it would just fall short of my intent.Excerpts from the novel as well as the various foreign covers can be seen here.
Doubleday press release:
Slacker meets James Thurber in this idiosyncratic collection by the daring young screenwriter of Kids, the most controversial film in recent years.
The original Ritalin kid, Harmony Korine burst onto the scene with Kids, a film so gritty and unsettling in its depiction of teen sex that it was slapped with a NC-17 rating and banned in theaters across the country. In some ways, the media frenzy over the rating overshadowed the harrowing portrait of teenagers destroying their lives and the eighteen-year-old screenwriter who created them. "Whether you see it as a masterpiece or as sensationalism", wrote Lynn Hirshberg, "the movie is relentless and brilliant and extremely disturbing. It's powerful -- both steel-eyed and sexy; horrifying and captivating".
Now, in this book of fictional set pieces, Korine reinvents the novel form, capturing the fragmented moments of life observed through the demented lens of media, TV, and teen obsession. With a filmmaker's eye and a prankster's glee, this bizarre collection of jokes, half-remembered scenes, dialogue fragments, movie ideas, and suicide notes is an episodic, epigrammatic ode to the world of images. This is the ultimate postmodern video novel -- funny, offensive, primitive. Korine is the voice of his media-savvy generation, and A Crackup at the Race Riots is the satiric love child of his darkly bizarre imagination.