Kathy Acker pushed literary boundaries with a vigor and creative fire that made her one of America's preeminent experimental writers and her books cult classics. Now Amy Scholder and Dennis Cooper have distilled the incredible variety of Acker's body of work into a single volume that reads like a communique from the front lines of late-twentieth-century America. Acker was a literary pirate whose prodigious output drew promiscuously from popular culture, the classics of Western civilization, current events, and the raw material of her own life. Her vision questions everything we take for granted the authority of parents, government, and the law; sexuality and the policing of desire and puts in its place a universe of polymorphous perversity and shame, playful freakery. Spanning Acker's '70s punk interventions through more than a dozen major novels, Essential Acker is an indispensable overview of the work of this distinctive American writer and a reminder of her challenge to and influence on writers of the future.