Kathy Acker was a groundbreaking writer, a literary tightrope-walker whose novels made her one of the most celebrated authors of the past thirty years. Recently discovered and never before published, these two short novels were written in the early 1970s, at the beginning of her career. Rip-off Red reads as a kind of Raymond Chandler for bad girls, as Acker’s typical literary playfulness transforms the genre conventions of detective fiction into a book that is simultaneously a mystery and a personal, raunchy, and politically astute account of life in New York City. The Burning Bombing of America is a dystopian vision of the destruction of America, combining crypto-Socialist class critique with the visceral surreality of the Book of Revelation. Published together here, they reveal a young writer on a literary romp, imposing an original, sexy, and subversive worldview that is unmistakably Acker. They are a perfect introduction to Acker’s oeuvre and essential for all Acker readers.