The Letters of William S. Burroughs, 1945-1959 Edited and with an Introduction by Oliver Harris
An intimate chronicle of the tumultuous life and literary transformation of one of America's most daring writers.
Eminence grise of the international avant garde, dark prophet and blackest of satirists, William S. Burroughs has had a range of influence rivaled by few living writers. This volume of his correspondence vividly documents the personal and cultural history through which Burroughs developed, revealing clues to illuminate his life and keys to open up his texts. More than that, it shows how letter-writing was itself integral to his life and to his fiction-making.
Beginning as surprisingly formal notes from the road to his friends Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, the letters gradually deepen in substance and style. Then, in Tangier, comes a dramatic shift in voice and vision and the explosive, distinctive letters that will become <Naked Lunch.> Letters were lifelines for Burroughs the outcast, and works-in-progress for Burroughs the writer, and they track his turbulent journey across two decades and three continents.
"A handsome volume….Readers will find this new volume of letters an excellent troduction to Burroughs' early work." -The Washington Post Book World
"Sheds light on both the personal demons and lacerating misanthropy that inspired Burroughs' brilliant literary highjinks." -Entertainment Weekly
William S. Burroughs is the author of numerous books, including <The Cat Inside> (Viking). He is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and lives in Lawrence, Kansas.
Oliver Harris gained a Double First in English at Christ Church, Oxford, and wrote his doctoral dissertation on William S. Burroughs. He is currently a lecturer in American Literature at the University of Keele and lives in Oxfordshire, England.
June Biography 5H x 8H 512 pp. 0-14-009452-0 $11.95
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