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 Atlas
A State by State Guide to the Beat Generation in America
Bill Morgan
The ultimate tour guide for those interested in the Beats and their travels "on the road."
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White Hand Society
The Psychedelic Partnership of Timothy Leary & Allen Ginsberg
Peter Conners
How Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary launched the psychedelic revolution together: the inside story.
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Kaddish and Other Poems: 1958-1960
Pocket Poets Number 14, 50th Anniversary Edition
Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg's "Kaddish," a long poem written about the madness and death of his mother, Naomi, is widely considered to be one his major works. This special fiftieth­-anniversary edition of Kaddish & Other Poems features an illuminating afterword by...
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Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems
Gary Snyder
By any measure, Gary Snyder is one of the greatest poets in America in the last century. From his first book of poems to his latest collection of essays, his work and his example, standing between Tu Fu and Thoreau, have been influential all over the...
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Queer
25th-Anniversary Edition
William S. Burroughs
The definitive 25th-anniversay edition of Burroughs's legendary second novel. Originally written in 1952 but not published till 1985, Queer is an enigma-both an unflinching autobiographical self-portrait and a coruscatingly political novel...
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Mysteriosos and Other Poems
Michael McClure
A spiritual odyssey by preeminent Beat Generation poet Michael McClure. Mysteriosos and Other Poems, Michael McClure’s newest book of poetry, explores the last seven years. These new poems speak of working toward freedom and beauty during a time of...
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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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Wake Up
A Life of the Buddha
Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac's profound meditations on the Buddha's life and religion In the mid-1950s, Jack Kerouac, a lifelong Catholic, became fascinated with Buddhism, an interest that had a significant impact on his ideas of spirituality and later found...
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The Awakener
A Memoir of Kerouac and the Fifties
Helen Weaver
Helen Weaver's intimate memoir of love and friendship with Jack Kerouac and the Beats
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Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems
Gary Snyder
By any measure, Gary Snyder is one of the greatest poets in America in the last century. From his first book of poems to his latest collection of essays, his work and his example, standing between Tu Fu and Thoreau, has been influential all over the...
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Beats at Naropa
Amassed from the riches of the Naropa University audio files, this collection offers an exciting new look at the Beats—whose influence lives on in the arts and politics of our time. In this often spontaneous, in-their-own-words oral history of...
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Passage Through India
An Expanded and Illustrated Edition
Gary Snyder
In 1962, after studying Buddhism in Japan, Gary Snyder, with his former wife, the poet Joanne Kyger, joined Allen Ginsberg and his companion Peter Orlovsky for a long trip to India “to see the hearth-land of the Buddha’s teachings.” Snyder kept...
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Off the Road
Carolyn Cassady
Love, literature, and friendship at the heart of the Beat Generation Off the Road tells the intimate story of the now legendary Neal Cassady and his remarkable friendship with Jack Kerouac (who immortalized Cassady as Dean Moriarty in On the Road)...

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