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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Call Me Burroughs
A Life
Barry Miles
Fifty years ago, Norman Mailer asserted, "William Burroughs is the only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed by genius." Few since have taken such literary risks, developed such individual political or spiritual ideas, or spanned such a wide range of media. Burroughs wrote novels, memoirs, technical manuals, and poetry...
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Can't Stop the Beat
The Life and Words of a Beat Poet
ruth weiss
Take a journey into the heart and passion of one of the most brilliant voices of the American Counter-Culture Movement. While men took the spotlight, it was women like ruth weiss who would breathe feminine spirit into the fight for equality between...
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The Cat Inside
William S. Burroughs
Best known for the wild, phantasmagoric satire of works like Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs reveals another, gentler side in The Cat Inside. Originally published as a limited-edition volume, this moving and witty discourse on cats combines deadpan...
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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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Collected Letters, 1944-1967
Neal Cassady
Neal Cassady is best remembered today as Jack Kerouac's muse and the basis for the character "Dean Moriarty" in Kerouac's classic On The Road, and as one of Ken Kesey's merriest of Merry Pranksters, the driver of the psychedelic bus "Further,"...
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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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The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia
Philip Lamantia, Garrett Caples, Andrew Joron, Nancy J. Peters
Many poets have contributed to the greatness of City Lights, but few more so than North Beach's own Philip Lamantia (1927-2005). Lamantia published his earliest work in avant-garde magazines when he was 15, then at 16 went to NYC to join the war-exiled Paris surrealists. Known as the foremost American surrealist, he also...
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Composed on the Tongue
A Book of Literary Conversations 1967-1977
Allen Ginsberg
Spanning a decade of Ginsberg's life in letters, essays, and lectures, this book includes journal entries on his encounters with Ezra Pound, transcribed conversations with other poets and artists, and notes from Ginsberg's Spiritual Poetics course...
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A Coney Island of the Mind
Poems
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
The title of this book is taken from Henry Miller's Into the Night Life. In it, Ferlinghetti expresses the way he felt during a short period in the 1950s.
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Conversations With Jack Kerouac
There are few writers about whom it can be said that they write just like they speak, but Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) is clearly one of them. In 1957, Kerouac was a struggling writer trying to create a new literary aesthetic based on the rhythms of human...
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Cranial Guitar
Bob Kaufman
At the forefront of the Beat movement, Kaufman was active (except for a decade long self-imposed interval of silence) on the poetry scenes of San Francisco’s North Beach and New York’s Lower East Side and Village from the 1950s through the 1980s...
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Death & Fame
Last Poems 1993-1997
Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg was one of the bravest and most admired poets of this century. Famous for energizing the Beat Generation literary movement upon his historic encounter with Gregory Corso, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs in mid-century New York City...
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Desolate Angel
Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation, and America
Dennis McNally
The long-awaited reissue of the definitive biography of Jack Kerouac, unwitting avatar of the Beat Generation and author of On the Road. Jack Kerouac--"King of the Beats," unwitting catalyst for the '60s counterculture, groundbreaking author--was a...
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Desolation Angels
Jack Kerouac
"Desolation Angels explains even better than the other Kerouac novels what the place of religion may have been in the Beat mystique." – Nelson Algren

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