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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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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Cold Mountain Poems
Twenty-Four Poems by H'an-sh'an
In 1953, Gary Snyder returned to the Bay Area and, at age 23, enrolled in graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, to study Asian languages and culture. He intensified his study of Chinese and Japanese, and taking up the challenge of one of his professors, Chen Shih-hsiang, he began to work on translating a largely unknown poet...
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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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Speed and Kentucky Ham
William S. Burroughs Jr.
A methedrine-inspired odyssey, a painfully candid exploration of the horizons of the speed freak's world, from the drug-hazed fantasy of New York's infamous East Village to the terrifying reality of a Federal narcotics hospital, Burroughs Jr.'s two novels
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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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Cities of the Red Night
A Novel
William S. Burroughs
While young men wage war against an evil empire of zealous mutants, the population of this modern inferno is afflicted with the epidemic of a radioactive virus. An opium-infused apocalyptic vision from the legendary author of Naked Lunch is the first...
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Exterminator!
William S. Burroughs
An experimental novel full of apocalyptic visions.
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Interzone
William S. Burroughs
"This is an essential text: the statement of a man writing for his life, a venting, a bloodletting." -- The Bloomsbury Review
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The Job
Interviews with William S. Burroughs
William S. Burroughs, Daniel Odier
Perspectives on Scientology, the police, sex, drugs, and death.
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Letters of William S. Burroughs
Volume 1: 1945-1959
William S. Burroughs
This volume of correspondence vividly documents the personal and cultural history through which Burroughs developed, revealing clues to illuminate his life and keys to open up his text. "Sheds light on both the personal demons and lacerating...
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My Education
A Book of Dreams
William S. Burroughs
Hundreds of dreams–intense, vivid, visionary–form the spiraling core of a unique and haunting journey into perception.
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The Place of Dead Roads
A Novel
William S. Burroughs
A good old-fashion shoot-out in the American West of the frontier days serves as the springboard for this hyperkinetic adventure in which gunslingers, led by Kim Carson, fight for galactic freedom. The Place of Dead Roads is the second novel in the...

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