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

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jul 31, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 768 pages
2 Reviews

“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.

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User Review  - jvalka - LibraryThing

Fascinated by the criminal underworld and wanting to become a part of it, Burroughs leaves his family and their fortune to experience life more fully. He is driven by two things: his homosexuality ... Read full review

Literary outlaw: the life and times of William S. Burroughs

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

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 ... Read full review



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About the author (2012)

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.

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