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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Old Angel Midnight
Jack Kerouac
Old Angel Midnight (1959) was one result of Kerouac's automatic writing experiments in which he would spill his chemically inspired thoughts onto paper to see what came out. Though Kerouac was initially denounced by literary critics as an oddball, his...
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Good Blonde
Jack Kerouac
In these uncollected writings Jack Kerouac portrays himself in his life. He hitches a ride to San Francisco with a blonde, goes on the road with photographer Robert Frank, rides bus through the Northwest and Montana, records the blues of an old Negro...
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Visions of Cody
Jack Kerouac
Written during 1951-52, this novel was an underground legend by the time it was finally published in 1972. Written in an experimental form, Kerouac created the ultimate account of his voyages with Neal Cassady...
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Maggie Cassidy
Jack Kerouac
Written in 1953, published in 1959 (after the 1957 publication of Kerouac's On the Road made him famous overnight) and long out of print, this touching novel of adolescent love in a New England mill town is one of Kerouac's most accessible works.
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Venice West
The Beat Generation in Southern California
John Arthur Maynard
"The book's bold, skillful narrative and willingness to reach far beyond its immediate subjects toward national significance make it both irresistible and important."--American Historical Review
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The Wild Boys
A Book of the Dead
William S. Burroughs
A pleasant little fable about global warfare.
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The Ticket That Exploded
William S. Burroughs
The grand "cut-up" trilogy that started with The Soft Machine and continued with Nova Express reaches its percussive climax with this novel.
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The Soft Machine
William S. Burroughs
"One of the most interesting pieces of radical fiction we have." – The Nation
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Nova Express
William S. Burroughs
Part sci-fi, part Swiftian parody, pure Burroughs, this sequel to The Soft Machine takes us back into its nightmarish world of addiction and monstrosity.
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Pomes All Sizes
Pocket Poets Number 48
Jack Kerouac
The original manuscript of this book, written between 1954 and 1965, has been in the safekeeping of City Lights all the years since Kerouac's death in 1969. Reaching beyond the scope of his Mexico City Blues, here are pomes about Mexico and Tangier...
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Tristessa
Jack Kerouac
Tristessa's a narrative meditation studying a hen, a rooster, a dove, a cat, a dog, family meat, and a ravishing, ravished junky lady.
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Big Sur
Jack Kerouac
An interesting biography of what happens when fame and age taint the dream of being "on the road" in the life of this aspiring poet. The book details Kerouac's descent into alcoholism and hope for salvation. I think this is one of his greatest...
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Visions of Gerard
A Novel
Jack Kerouac
Unique among Jack Kerouac's novels, Visions of Gerard focuses on the scenes and sensations of childhood– the wisdom, anguish, intensity, innocence, evil, insight, suffering, delight, and shock– as they were revealed in the short tragic -happy life.
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Secret Exhibition
Six California Artists
Rebecca Solnit
Secret Exhibition chronicles a vital California art movement, focusing on six artists – Wallace Bergman, Jess, Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, Wally Hendrick, and George Herms – who broke new ground with provocative work, especially in assemblage and...

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