The Letters of William S. Burroughs: 1945-1959

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Beginning as surprisingly formal notes from the road to his friends Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, the letters gradually deepen in substance and style. Burroughs's letters show the development of both the man and the writer, vividly documenting his (often turbulent) personal and cultural history. The collection provides a key to opening up and contextualizing Burroughs's fiction, but more than that it shows how letter-writing was itself integral to his life and creative process.

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THE LETTERS OF WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS: 1945-1959

User Review  - Kirkus

The MTV generation's idea of an outlaw-writer, Burroughs finds himself a minor/grand old man of sorts—which is why, presumably, this book. These letters were mostly to Allen Ginsberg (whom for a ... Read full review

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User Review  - revD - LibraryThing

Necessary reading for the completist & scholar, but a trifle too involved in the minutiae of Burroughs' life to be of interest to the passing reader. Provides insight into the works in progress of the ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

William S. Burroughs was born in 1914. His first published novel was the largely autobiographical Junky, which remains a classic depiction of the constant cycle of drug dependency, cures and relapses he was victim to for most of his life. In 1951, in a drunken William Tell stunt, he accidentally shot and killed his common-law wife. He is most famous for his use of the 'cut-up' technique of writing and the novel Naked Lunch. His other major works included Queer, Exterminator!The 'Nova Trilogy' (The Soft Machine, Nova Expressand The Ticket That Exploded) and the 'Red Night Trilogy' (Cities of the Red Night, The Place of Dead Roadsand The Western Lands). He died in 1997.

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