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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Reality Sandwiches: 1953-1960
Pocket Poets Number 18
Allen Ginsberg
"Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages for yr own joy." Many of Ginsberg's most famous poems. Wake-up nightmares in Lower East Side, musings in public library, across the U.S. in dream auto, drunk in old Havana, brooding in Mayan...
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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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The Yage Letters Redux
Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Oliver Harris
In January 1953, William Burroughs began a seven-month expedition into the jungles of South America, ostensibly to find yage, the fabled hallucinogen of the Amazon. But Burroughs also cast his anthropological-satiric eye over the local regimes...
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Go
A Novel
John Clellon Holmes
The novel that launched the beat generation's literary legacy describes the world of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Neil Cassady. Drafted two months before Jack Kerouac began On The Road, Go is the first and most accurate chronicle of the private...
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Door Wide Open
A Beat Love Affair in Letters 1957-1958
Joyce Johnson, Jack Kerouac
On a blind date in Greenwich Village set up by Allen Ginsberg, Joyce Johnson (then Joyce Glassman) met Jack Kerouac in January 1957, nine months before he became famous overnight with the publication of On the Road. She was an adventurous...
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Missing Men
A Memoir
Joyce Johnson
Joyce Johnson’s classic memoir of growing up female in the 1950s, Minor Characters, was one of the initiators of an important new genre: the personal story of a minor player on history’s stage.
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The Voice Is All
The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac
Joyce Johnson
A groundbreaking new biography of Jack Kerouac from the author of the award-winning memoir Minor Characters. Joyce Johnson brilliantly peels away layers of the Kerouac legend in this compelling new book. Tracking Kerouac's development from his boyhood...
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The Ancient Rain
Poems, 1956-1978
Bob Kaufman
A collection of early rap poetry from "the black American Rimbaud."
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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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Solitudes Crowded With Loneliness
Bob Kaufman
Poems and prose. Contains odes to Charles Mingus, Hart Crane, Albert Camus, and other alienated outsiders.
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Postcards from the Underground
Portraits of the Beat Era
Larry Keenan
In 1965, Larry Keenan spent over a year photographing the Beats-in their homes and with their families and friends. His portraits constitute a unique chronology and reportage of this era, and many of these photos have since become iconic images that...
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Atop an Underwood
Early Stories and Other Writings
Jack Kerouac
Before Jack Kerouac expressed the spirit of a generation in his 1957 classic, On the Road, he spent years figuring out how he wanted to live and, above all, learning how to write.
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Beat Generation
The Lost Work
Jack Kerouac
Beat Generation is a play about tension, about friendship, and about karma — what it is and how you get it. It begins one fine morning with a few friends, honest laborers some of them, some close to being down-and-out, passing around a bottle of...
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Big Sur
Jack Kerouac
An interesting biography of what happens when fame and age taint the dream of being "on the road" in the life of this aspiring poet. The book details Kerouac's descent into alcoholism and hope for salvation. I think this is one of his greatest...

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