“The Letters of William S. Burroughs: 1945-1959” by William S. Burroughs

"The Letters of William S. Burroughs: 1945-1959" by William S. Burroughs

"Guru of the Beat generation, éminence 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 from 1945 to 1959 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.

Beginning as surprisingly formal notes from the road to his friends Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, the letters 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. To read them as they were written is to experience a unique merging of life and letters, the extraordinary story of Williams S. Burroughs homme de lettres."