William S. Burroughs was born in 1914. His first published novel was the largely autobiographical Junky, which remains a classic depiction of the constant cycle of drug dependency, cures and relapses he was victim to for most of his life. In 1951, in a drunken William Tell stunt, he accidentally shot and killed his common-law wife. He is most famous for his use of the 'cut-up' technique of writing and the novel Naked Lunch. His other major works included Queer, Exterminator! The 'Nova Trilogy' (The Soft Machine, Nova Express and The Ticket That Exploded) and the 'Red Night Trilogy' (Cities of the Red Night, The Place of Dead Roads and The Western Lands). He died in 1997.
Praise for William Burroughs "Burroughs voice is hard, derisive, inventive, free, funny, serious, poetic, indelibly American."--Joan Didion"A creator of grim fairy tales for adults, Burroughs spoke to our nightmare fears and, still worse, to our nightmare longings. . . . And more than any other postwar wordsmith, he bridged generations; popularity in the youth culture is greater now than during the heady days of the Beats."--Douglas Brinkley, The Los Angeles Times Book Review"The most important writer to emerge since World War II. . . . For his sheer visionary power, and for his humor, I admire Burroughs more than any living writer, and most of those who are dead."--J.G. Ballard"William was a Shootist. He shot like he wrote--with extreme precision and no fear."--Hunter S. Thompson"A book of great beauty . . . . Burroughs is the only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed by genius."--Norman Mailer on Naked Lunch"Burroughs seems to revel in a new medium . . . a medium totally fantastic, spaceless, timeless, in which the normal sentence is fractured, the cosmic tries to push its way through the bawdry, and the author shakes the reader as a dog shakes a rat."--Anthony Burgess on The Ticket That Exploded "Of all the Beat Generation writers, William S. Burroughs was the most dangerous. . . . He was anarchy's double agent, an implacable enemy of conformity and of all agencies of control-from government to opiates."--Rolling Stone"In Burroughs' hands, writing reverts to acts of magic, as though he were making some enormous infernal encyclopedia of all the black impulses and acts that, once made, would shut the fiends away forever." --The New York Times on The Wild Boys