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William S. Burroughs

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"He was," as Salon's Gary Kamyia notes, "20th-century drug culture's Poe, its Artaud, its Baudelaire. He was the prophet of the literature of pure experience, a phenomenologist of dread.... Burroughs had the scary genius to turn the junk wasteland into a parallel universe, one as thoroughly and obsessively rendered as …

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Before his 1959 breakthrough, Naked Lunch, an unknown William S. Burroughs wrote Junk, his first book, a candid, eyewitness account of times and places that are now long gone. This book brings them vividly to life again; it is an unvarnished field report from the American postwar underground. For this definitive …

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Queer is an early short novel by William S. Burroughs. It is partially a sequel to his earlier novel, Junkie, which ends with the stated ambition of finding a drug called Yage. Queer, although not devoted to that quest, does include a trip to South America looking for the substance.

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Cities of the Red Night is a 1981 novel by American author William S. Burroughs, his first full-length novel since The Wild Boys. It is part of his final trilogy of novels, known as The Red Night Trilogy, followed by The Place of Dead Roads and The Western Lands. The plot involves a group of radical pirates who seek …

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The Soft Machine is a novel by William S. Burroughs, first published in 1961, two years after his groundbreaking Naked Lunch, and heavily revised for editions published in 1966 and 1968. It was originally composed using the cut-up technique partly from manuscripts belonging to The Word Hoard. It is part of The Cut-Up …

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The Western Lands is a 1987 novel by William S. Burroughs, the final book of the trilogy that begins with Cities of the Red Night and continues with The Place of Dead Roads. The title refers to the western bank of the Nile River, which in Egyptian mythology is the Land of the Dead. Inspired by the Egyptian Book of the …

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The Place of Dead Roads is a 1983 novel by William S. Burroughs, the second book of the trilogy that begins with Cities of the Red Night and concludes with The Western Lands. It chronicles the story of a gay gunfighter in the American West, beginning with the gunfighter’s death in 1899, incorporates contrasting themes …

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The Cat Inside is the title of an autobiographical novella written by William S. Burroughs and illustrated by Brion Gysin. The book was first published by Grenfell Press in 1986 in an edition of only 133 copies; it was later reissued by Viking Press in 1992 in a mass market hardcover edition. In the book Burroughs, a …

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The Wild Boys: A Book of the Dead is a novel by Beat Generation author William S. Burroughs. It was first published in 1971 by Grove Press. It depicts a homosexual youth movement whose objective is the downfall of western civilization, set in an apocalyptic late twentieth century.