A classic of outlaw literature, Black's real-life account of cross-country train-hopping, prison breaks, opium addiction, and hobo living was an early inspiration for William Burroughs and continues to be passed around anarchist squats as a must read for those living outside the law. —Recommended by Ivy, City Lights Books
You Can't Win, the beloved memoir of real lowdown Americana by criminal hobo Jack Black, was first published in 1926, then reprinted in 1988 by Adam Parfrey's Amok Press, featuring an introduction by William S. Burroughs. After its Amok Press edition went out of print, You Can’t Win found popularity once again with the AK Press edition.
Feral House’s new version will take this classic American narrative a lot further, including two remarkable nonfiction articles by Jack Black written for Harper's Magazine in the 1920s. Remarkable illustrations by Joe Coleman and new biographical revelations by Donald Kennison will round out the new edition.