Synopses & Reviews
Before his 1959 breakthrough, Naked Lunch, an unknown William S. Burroughs wrote Junk, his first book, a candid, eyewitness account of times and places that are now long gone. This book brings them vividly to life again; it is an unvarnished field report from the American postwar underground. For this definitive 50th-anniversary edition, eminent Burroughs scholar Oliver Harris has painstakingly re-created the author's original text, word by word, from archival typescripts. Here for the first time are Burroughs's own unpublished Introduction and an entire omitted chapter, along with many "lost" passages and auxiliary texts by Allen Ginsberg and others. Harris's comprehensive Introduction reveals the composition history of Junk's text and places its contents against a lively historical background.
This is the 50th anniversary edition of Burroughs's seminal first novel. One of the creative visionaries of the Beat movement recites the calculus by which heroin redefines the addict's world. Burroughs' quasi-autobiographical narrative makes for a raw, fragmented, and disturbing account of quests to ease the hunger for the needle.
About the Author
William S. Burroughs was born in St. Louis in 1914. He is best-known work is 1959's Naked Lunch which became the focus of a landmark 1962 Supreme Court decision that helped eliminate literary censorship in the United States. Described by Norman Mailer as one of America's few writers genuinely "possessed by genius," he died in 1997. His many other works include Junky and Cities of the Red Night.