Beat Literature & History
The Beat Generation may be most famous for Jack Kerouac (On the Road), Allen Ginsberg (Howl), and William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch), but in fact it claims an amazing number of inspired writers. Delve into our complete selection of fine books by and about the Beats and their accomplices —among them,  Neal Cassady, Herbert Huncke, Gregory Corso, Diane di Prima, Ted Joans, John Clellon Holmes, Anne Waldman, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder, Robert Duncan, Philip Lamantia, Bob Kaufman, Bob Creeley, Kenneth Rexroth. Browse your favorite author, search for a specific title, or just look through the entire selection of over 200 Beat books, presented alphabetically by author.

Books in this online selection represent only a sliver of what we offer in the store. If you've got a particular book in mind and want to check on its availability, call us at 415-362-8193.

  |  Neal Cassady
  |  Gregory Corso
  |  Bob Kaufman
  |  Jack Kerouac
  |  Gary Snyder

   
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Beat Poets
Everyman's Library Pocket Poets
Carmela Ciuraru
This rousing anthology features the work of more than twenty-five writers from the great twentieth-century countercultural literary movement. Writing with an audacious swagger and an iconoclastic zeal, and declaiming their verse with dramatic flourish...
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I Greet You at the Beginning of a Great Career
The Selected Correspondence of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, 1955-1997
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Bill Morgan
Out Now: Marking the 60th anniversary of City Lights Publishers, we present the intimate correspondence of Ginsberg & Ferlinghetti, documenting one of the longest relationships between a publisher and a writer.
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The Essential Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg, Michael Schumacher
Featuring the legendary and groundbreaking poem "Howl," this remarkable volume showcases a selection of Allen Ginsberg's poems, songs, essays, letters, journals, and interviews and contains sixteen pages of his personal photographs.
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The Z Collection
Portraits and Sketches
Jan Herman
A time capsule made of words, this fascinating and thoroughly entertaining collection of 21 short vignettes shines a personal and penetrating light on a score of mainstream and countercultural figures, including William Burroughs, Norman Mailer, Mary Hemingway, Paul Theroux, John Cheever, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and more.
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Howl on Trial
The Battle for Free Expression
Bill Morgan, Nancy J. Peters
The inside story of the publication and defense of Howl in correspondence, documents and photographs.
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Collected Poems
Poetry was at the center of Jack Kerouac's sense of mission as a writer. This landmark edition brings together for the first time all Kerouac’s major poetic works—Mexico City Blues, The Scripture of the Golden Eternity, Book of Blues, Pomes All Sizes, Old Angel Midnight, Book of Haikus—along with a rich assortment of his uncollected poems.
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A Blue Hand
The Tragicomic, Mind-Altering Odyssey of Allen Ginsberg, a Holy Fool, a Lost Muse, a Dharma Bum, and His Prickly Bride in India
Deborah Baker
In this engrossing new piece of Beat history, Pulitzer Prize finalist Deborah Baker takes us back to the moment when America’s edgiest writers looked to India for answers as India looked to the West. It was 1961 when Allen Ginsberg left New York by...
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Distant Neighbors
The Selected Letters of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder
Wendell Berry, Gary Snyder, Chad Wriglesworth
In 1969 Gary Snyder returned from a long residence in Japan to the Sierra foothills, where he intended to build a house and settle with his wife and sons. He had just published his first book of essays, Earth House Hold. A few years before, Wendell Berry left New York City for farmland in Port Royal, Kentucky, where he built a small studio...
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How to Talk Dirty & Influence People
An Autobiography
Lenny Bruce
During the course of a career that began in the late 1940s, Lenny Bruce challenged the sanctity of organized religion and other societal and political conventions; he widened the boundaries of free speech. Critic Ralph Gleason said, "So many taboos have been lifted and so many comics have rushed through the doors Lenny opened.
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The Beats
A Graphic History
Paul Buhle, Harvey Pekar
I've read a lot of Beat books in my time here at City Lights, but none are quite as fun as this graphic history. The perfect collection for those who think they've heard all the stories about Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg, et al. The Beats also provides...
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And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks
William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac
More than sixty years ago, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac sat down in New York City to write a novel about the summer of 1944, when one of their friends killed another in a moment of brutal and tragic bloodshed. The two authors were then at the...
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The Burroughs File
William S. Burroughs
Trenchant writings by that sardonic ""hombre invisible,"" William Seward Burroughs, perpetrator of Naked Lunch and other shockers. These malefic and beatific, mordant and hilarious straight-face reports on life are mostly from scatter-shot...
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Burroughs Live
The Collected Interviews of William S. Burroughs, 1960-1997
William S. Burroughs, Sylvère Lotringer
Burroughs Live gathers all the interviews, both published and unpublished, given by William Burroughs, as well as conversations with well-known writers, artists, and musicians such as Tennessee Williams, Timothy Leary, Patti Smith, Keith Richards...
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The Cat Inside
William S. Burroughs
Best known for the wild, phantasmagoric satire of works like Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs reveals another, gentler side in The Cat Inside. Originally published as a limited-edition volume, this moving and witty discourse on cats combines deadpan...

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