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William Burroughs
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Iconoclast; visionary; homosexual crusader; drug advocate; teacher and elder statesman to Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and the beats; anti-hero to each successive counter-culture generation: William Burroughs remains one of the most complex and controversial American writers of the 20th century. Following his death in August 1997, Barry Miles, his friend for over 30 years, has updated his biography of this literary guerrilla and tormented visionary. A longtime heroin addict, Burroughs preferred to live abroad, away from America's draconian drug laws. After killing his wife in a bizarre shooting accident, he moved to Tangier where he lived in a male brothel and wrote his celebrated bestseller "Naked Lunch" as a series of letters to Allen Ginsberg. He lived at the Beat Hotel in Paris and spent a decade in London before returning as a prodigal son to New York in 1974 after 25 years of self-imposed exile. He was made a member of the American Academy of Arts in 1983.
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Repackaged and refreshed, this seminal biography of a counter-cultural icon is re-issued to form a core part of the Virgin backlist: '[Miles's] mastery of Beat Generation know-how must surely be unrivalled.' Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Barry Miles is a bestselling author of numerous biographies and cultural histories of the Beat Generation luminaries, The Beatles, the sixties movements and its musicians. He lives in London.

Reviews

"Miles traces threads of Burroughs' images from childhood to tough elder genius, isolating sensitive themes, following recurrences and evolution of routines, clarifying Burroughs' comic pathetic heroic philosophies and insights into coherent whole. Miles familiarises even old close readers with a fine map of Burroughs' mind." * Allan Ginsberg * "There can be no more effective introduction." * Q * "Gives shape to a life that would otherwise seem crowded and aimless." * Independent on Sunday *

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