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

Ted Morgan
Item #: D61196
Format: Paperback
Pages/Publication Date: 714 / 2012
Publisher: Norton
ISBN: 9780393342604
$24.95 $6.98
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Anarchist, heroin addict, alcoholic, and brilliant writer, William S. Burroughs (1914–97) was the patron saint of darkness among the Beat writers. His avant-garde masterpiece Naked Lunch shook up the publishing world with its graphic descriptions of drug abuse and illicit sex—resulting in a landmark judicial ruling on literary obscenity—while his personal life was no less shocking, including his accidental shooting of his wife Joan. Also the biographer of Winston Churchill and Somerset Maugham, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Ted Morgan gives us this updated edition of Literary Outlaw (originally published in 1988) with a new preface and a final chapter covering Burroughs's last years. Morgan captures the man, his work, and his friends—Allen Ginsberg and Paul Bowles among them—in this riveting story of an iconoclast.

"In his detailed, highly readable biography, Morgan provides important insights into Burroughs's life and art. He sees the writer as an outlaw, as someone bent on achieving fame even at the cost of becoming infamous. Morgan closely examines Burroughs's life in light of his relationships with family, lovers, and friends, including fellow Beats Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.... While not a definitive portrait, Morgan's book is an accurate and serviceable biography of one of America's foremost authors. Essential reading for anyone interested in Burroughs, it belongs in all serious literature collections."—Library Journal

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