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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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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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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The Selected Letters of Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder
Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder
One of the central relationships in the Beat scene was the long-lasting friendship of Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder. Ginsberg introduced Snyder to the East Coast Beat writers, including Jack Kerouac, while Snyder himself became the model for the...
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You're a Genius All the Time
Belief and Technique for Modern Prose
Jack Kerouac, Regina Weinreich
Jack Kerouac's musings on the creative process are collected together for the first time in this exquisite book. In the 1950s Allen Ginsberg asked Kerouac to formally describe his 'spontaneous prose' method, resulting in a list of maxims called Belief...
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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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Moving Targets
Stephen Kessler
These personal and critical essays explore the lives and works of 24 key poets of the late 20th and early 21st centuries including Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Duncan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, William Everson, Bob Kaufman, Gary Snyder, Jack...
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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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A Place in Space
Ethics, Aesthetics, and Watersheds
Gary Snyder
In this classic collection of 29 pieces that span half a century, Gary Snyder explores humans’ complex, ever-evolving attitudes toward the environment. He argues that nature is not separate from humanity, but intrinsic to it, and that since societies...
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Mountains and Rivers Without End
Gary Snyder
In simple, striking verse, legendary poet Gary Snyder weaves an epic discourse on the topics of geology, prehistory, and mythology. First published in 1996, this landmark work encompasses Asian artistic traditions, as well as Native American...
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Tau By Philip Lamantia and Journey to the End By John Hoffman
Pocket Poets Number 59
Philip Lamantia, John Hoffman
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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