William S Burroughs was one of the profound writers of the Beat Generation of writers. This was a literary movement started by a group of authors whose work explored and influenced American culture and politics in the post-war era. The bulk of their work was published and popularized throughout the 1950s. Other writers in this era included Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Ken Kesey.
Burroughs rose to fame while working on the fringes of mainstream literature during the Beat era. Today he is know for novels like Naked Lunch, Junkie, Queer, The Wild Boys, The Soft Machine, and The Ticket that Exploded, among others. All of them have been widely read, taught, copied and translated. However, Naked Lunch, regarded as his masterpiece, was banned upon publication for being obscene.
Burroughs had a remarkable effect on rock music of all things and this is chronicled in hardcover book published last year by Casey Rae. The paperback version is coming out in June. Rae’s book is said to show the transformations in music history, from the Beatles to grunge and hip hop, that can all be traced to Burroughs, and bringing to life his parallel rise to fame among daring musicians of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.
“Whether exploring the occult with David Bowie, discussing gritty street life with Lou Reed, or counseling Patti Smith about coping with fame, the stories of Burroughs’ backstage impact will transform the way you see America’s cultural revolution – and the way you hear its music,” the book’s synopsis says.