Literary Outlaw: The Life and Times of William S. Burroughs

Literary Outlaw: The Life and Times of William S. Burroughs

by Ted Morgan

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Overview

“Almost indecently readable . . . captures [Burroughs’s] destructive energy, his ferocious pessimism, and the renegade brilliance of his style.”—Vogue
With a new preface as well as a final chapter on William S. Burroughs’s last years, the acclaimed Literary Outlaw is the only existing full biography of an extraordinary figure. Anarchist, heroin addict, alcoholic, and brilliant writer, Burroughs was the patron saint of the Beats. His avant-garde masterpiece Naked Lunch shook up the literary world with its graphic descriptions of drug abuse and illicit sex—and resulted in a landmark Supreme Court ruling on obscenity. Burroughs continued to revolutionize literature with novels like The Soft Machine and to shock with the events in his life, such as the accidental shooting of his wife, which haunted him until his death. Ted Morgan captures the man, his work, and his friends—Allen Ginsberg and Paul Bowles among them—in this riveting story of an iconoclast.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393342604
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 07/31/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 768
Sales rank: 694,074
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Ted Morgan is the author of Maugham and FDR; his latest book is Valley of Death: The Tragedy at Dien Bien Phu That Led America into the Vietnam War. He lives in New York.

Table of Contents

Note On Method vii

Preface ix

Prologue: The Induction: 1983 1

1 St. Louis: 1914-1931 15

2 Los Alamos: 1929-1932 45

3 Cambridge: 1932-1938 60

4 New York: 1939-1941 74

5 Chicago and New York: 1942-1944 88

6 "And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks": 1944 105

7 Junk: 1945-1946 120

8 Texas: 1947-1948 144

9 Louisiana: 1948-1949 163

10 Mexico: 1949-1952 184

11 Colombia: 1953 230

12 Tangier: 1954-1958 250

13 Paris: 1958-1960 290

14 Naked Lunch: 1959-1966 348

15 Burroughs Meets Leary: 1960-1961 383

16 Burroughs at Large: 1962-1965 413

17 The London Years: 1966-1973 453

18 New York: 1974-1976 499

19 Billy: 1974-1981 526

20 The Bunker: 1976-1981 571

21 Lawrence: 1981-1988 607

22 The Final Years: 1988-1997 657

Acknowledgments and Sources 679

Notes 681

Index 691

What People are Saying About This

Paul Theroux

I was captivated. . . . Funny. . . exhaustive . . . clear-sighted.

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Literary Outlaw: The Life and Times of William S. Burroughs 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Polaris- on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the best biographies I've read. Superb. A really heavyweight treatment for a heavyweight character.