Dwight Garner at the NYT:
Kathy Acker — proto-punk, tough-stemmed flower, ransacker of texts, literary heir to William S. Burroughs and Gertrude Stein, sex worker, loather of establishments, striver for maximum impudence — was born into a soft life on Manhattan’s East Side in 1947.
Her father’s last name was Lehman, but she didn’t know that until she was grown. Her mother raised her with a stepfather whose surname was Alexander. The name on her birth certificate was Karen, but everyone called her Kathy.
The Alexanders kept poodles and dined together every night. There were private schools, a beach house on Long Island, summer camps in Maine. In high school Kathy was president of the U.N. club. She was presented as a debutante. Though she would struggle financially as an adult, she always wrote with a Montblanc fountain pen. Later she came into a trust fund.