You’d have to go all the way back to the epistles of Abigail Adams and the poems of Emily Dickinson to find such a profound articulation of the soul of American womanhood as the stunning new collection of never-before-published letters, “Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts!,” forthcoming from the fine folks at Process Books.
In 1977, Kaufman offered a $1000 reward to any woman who could pin him in a televised wrestling match, vowing to shave his head and wed his vanquisher. His taunt spurred an impassioned response from hundreds of would-be contenders from across our great land, from all-CAPS typewritten manifestos to hand-scrawled hate mail accompanied by photos and illustrations that Process rightly calls “an astonishing Rorschach of the late-‘70s liberated female psyche.”
Samples leave us in humbled awe and ever more mindful of how much we miss the pranking spirit of our dear departed Latka:
“ Dear Andy K: I am the undefeated heavyweight wrestling champion of Prospect, Kentucky. The enclosed photo shows me in a recent match with the current Ohio champion (Mendel Fishberg) As my record indicates, I am invincible. I’ll pin your pig ears to the corn sty. Love, Cathy.”
“Hey! Andy Kaufman, I got so much brains and muscle that when I finish wrestling you, you gonna look like them braided guts behind me at Acapulco’s open market. I mean I’m gonna whoop your sissy-britchered, slick-haired body into a smelly pulp.”
“WHOEVER READS THIS: TELL ANDY KAUFMAN THAT I DON’T LIKE THE SHOW ‘TAXI’ AS WELL AS I USED TO SINCE I FOUND OUT WHAT A JERK HE IS. I’M IN AN ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIR AND I’D GLADLY RUN IT OVER HIM A FEW TIMES IF IT WOULD SHUT HIM UP, REWARD OR NO REWARD. GOOD LUCK TO THE WOMAN—I HOPE SHE’S AN AMAZON. SINCERELY, MISS LOU EVAN”
We can hardly wait ‘til November for the whole enchilada of 120 pages, complete with an introduction by Lynne Margulies, Kaufman’s girlfriend. Until then, stay tuned for more tasty excerpts….