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 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 William S. Burroughs
William S. Burroughs
Although a rather shy, private man, William Burroughs gave a good many interviews during his lifetime, some in prominent publications, others in obscure forums. The interviews collected here provide an aperture into the philosophies, methods, and...
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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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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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The Dharma Bums
Jack Kerouac
One of the best and most popular of Kerouac's autobiographical novels, The Dharma Bums is based on experiences the writer had during the mid-1950s while living in California, after he'd become interested in Buddhism's spiritual mode of understanding...
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The Dharma Bums
Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition
Jack Kerouac
The Dharma Bums was published one year after On the Road made Jack Kerouac a celebrity and a spokesperson for the Beat Generation. Sparked by his contagious zest for life, the novel relates the adventures of an ebullient group of Beatnik seekers in a...
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The Dharma Bums
50th Anniversary Edition
Jack Kerouac
A deluxe edition of Kerouac’s masterpiece on the 50th anniversary of its first publication First published in 1958, a year after On the Road had put the Beat generation on the map, The Dharma Bums stands as one of Jack Kerouac’s most powerful...

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