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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Howl
A Graphic Novel
Allen Ginsberg
First published in 1956, Allen Ginsberg's Howl is a prophetic masterpiece--an epic raging against dehumanizing society that overcame censorship trials and obscenity charges to become one of the most widely read poems of the century.  Now a major...
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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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Naked Lens
Beat Cinema
Jack Sargeant
Celebrating the celluloid expression of the Beat spirit—arguably the most sustained legacy in U.S. counterculture—Naked Lens is a comprehensive study of the most significant interfaces between the Beat writers, Beat culture, and cinema. Naked Lens...
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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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On the Road
The Original Scroll
Jack Kerouac
The legendary 1951 scroll draft of On the Road, published as Kerouac originally composed it IN THREE WEEKS in April of 1951, Jack Kerouac wrote his first full draft of On the Road—typed as a single-spaced paragraph on eight long sheets of tracing...
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Pull My Daisy
Robert Frank
Pull My Daisy is a 1959 short film that typifies the Beat Generation. Directed by Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie, Daisy was adapted by Jack Kerouac from the third act of a stage play he never finished entitled Beat Generation...
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Tau by Philip Lamantia and Journey to the End by John Hoffman
Pocket Poets Number 59
Philip Lamantia, John Hoffman, Garrett Caples
Two new books from the classic Beat period: mystical poems by Philip Lamantia and the long-lost "Six Gallery" poems by legendary hipster John Hoffman.
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Back on the Fire
Essays
Gary Snyder
This collection of essays by Gary Snyder, now in paperback, blazes with insight. In his most autobiographical writing to date, Snyder employs fire as a metaphor for the crucial moment when deeply held viewpoints yield to new experiences, and our...
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Troia
Mexican Memoirs
Bonnie Bremser
For those who are interested in the Beats and want to dig a bit deeper beyond the usual suspects, this long-neglected memoir of hard life in Mexico is raw, naked, honest, full of feeling, and sometimes barely in control. While avoiding statements about...
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Collected Poems 1947-1997
Allen Ginsberg
Here, for the first time, is a volume that gathers the published verse of Allen Ginsberg in its entirety, a half century of brilliant work from one of America's great poets. As the chief figure among the Beats, Ginsberg changed the course of...
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Poetry As Insurgent Art
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
After a lifetime, this (r)evolutionary little book is still a work-in-progress, the poet's ars poetica, to which at 88 he is constantly adding. From the groundbreaking (and bestselling) A Coney Island of the Mind in 1958 to the "personal epic" of...

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