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William S. Burroughs Books In Order

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Publication Order of Nova Trilogy Books

The Soft Machine (1961)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ticket That Exploded (1962)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nova Express (1964)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Red Night Trilogy Books

Cities of the Red Night (1981)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Place of Dead Roads (1983)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Western Lands (1987)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks (With: Jack Kerouac) (1945)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Junky / Junkie (As: William Lee) (1953)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Naked Lunch (1959)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Minutes To Go (With: Brion Gysin,Gregory Corso,Sinclair Beiles) (1960)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dead Fingers Talk (1963)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Wild Boys (1969)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Last Words of Dutch Schultz (1969)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Exterminator! (With: Brion Gysin) (1973)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Port of Saints (1973)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Book of Breeething / Ah Pook is Here (1975)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Queer (1985)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rules of Duel (With: Graham Masterton) (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Blade Runner (1979)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Cat Inside (1986)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ghost of Chance (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Seven Deadly Sins (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death Fiend Guerrillas (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Finger (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

The Yage Letters (With: Allen Ginsberg) (1963)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Electronic Revolution (1970)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ali's Smile & Naked Scientology (1973)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Tornado Alley (1976)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Third Mind (With: Brion Gysin) (1978)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Roosevelt After Inauguration and Other Atrocities (1979)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A William Burroughs Reader (1982)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Burroughs File (1984)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Adding Machine (1985)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Interzone (1987)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Painting and Guns (1992)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
My Education (1995)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Word Virus (1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Plays

Come in with the Dutchman (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Job (With: Daniel Odier) (1969)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cobble Stone Gardens (1976)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lasers (1982)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk & Postmodern Science Fiction(1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

William S. Burroughs was an American noted published author of fictional novels. He was born on February 5, 1914 and passed away on August 2, 1997. He also went by the name William Lee. The ‘S’ in his name stands for Seward.

He was born one of two sons to his father Mortimer Perry Burroughs and his wife, Laura Hamon Lee. They lived in St. Louis, Missouri. His grandfather William Seward Burroughs with whom he shared the same name had founded a company called the Burroughs Adding Machine company, which would later be known as the Burroughs Corporation. His brother Ivy Lee would work in advertising and then later as a publicist.

Mortimer ran a gift shop that featured antiques in St. Louis and then Palm Beach, Florida when the family moved there. Burroughs had a fascination with magic and the occult as a child, which would later figure into his writing.

When he was young, the author lived in the central West End of St. Louis and would attend the John Burroughs School. One of his earlier writings was the essay “Personal Magnetism”, which would be published in the John Burroughs Review. The 1929 essay focused on telepathic mind-control.

William would later enroll in the boarding school Los Alamos Ranch school as a student. It was there that he first became aware of his sexuality, journaling about his feelings to another boy there that he would later destroy due to shame. Burroughs would keep his sexual orientation hidden from his family long after he was an adult. He left Los Alamos during his second year after convincing his family to let him stay in St. Louis.

He would then go on to enroll in high school in Clayton, Missouri, at the Taylor school. In 1932, he headed off to Harvard University to get his arts degree. He earned money during the summers by reporting for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. However, he did not particularly care for reporting. He also began attending brothels, where he reportedly lost his virginity to one of the women that worked there.

William was introduced to the gay culture in New York City while vising there on trips while enrolled in Harvard. He frequented Greenwich Village and Harlem. He would attend various underground bars and dives with his wealthy pal from Kansas City, Richard Stern. He would graduate in 1936 from Harvard. His parents decided to give him $200 monthly to keep the author going and it helped him be freer in other areas of his life, choosing where to live and not having to be employed to earn money. His parents could well afford to do so as they had sold stock they held in addition to William’s grandfather’s invention rights, with the stock being worth about the equivalent of $3.2. million today.

The artist would study a bit more after graduating, going to Columbia to study anthropology and going to Vienna, Austria to study medicine. He also evolved his appetite for travel by going to Europe. There he expanded don his sexual identity and dove into LGBT culture in Austria, Hungry and Vienna. He also was introduced to Ilse Klapper, who was Jewish. The two would be married in Croatia so that she could go to the United States on Visa, which she did. The two were friendly for a long time and the pair divorced sometime after. He also caused his parents some concern in 1939 where he severed his little finger joint to impress a man he was interested in. The experience would be included in his own short story “The Finger”.

Burroughs would enlist in the Army in 1942 just before World War II got started. He would become downcast at his classification not as officer but as 1-A infantry. However, his mother got him a civilian disability discharge, arguing that he had mental instability and should not have been allowed to enlist in the first place. He was discharged after five months. He would then move to Chicago and work there in different jobs. He soon moved to New York City when his friends Lucien Carr and David Kammerer moved there. Carr would later murder David, allegedly due to advances that were unwanted.

He would later live in an apartment in 1944 shared with author Jack Kerouac, his first wife, and Joan Vollmer Adams. Both Kerouac and Burroughs got in trouble for failing to report the murder to police. However, the experience served as literary inspiration and William and Jack collaborated on a novel called “And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks”, which was done in 1945. They could not get it published at the time, although it did eventually get published in 2008 thanks to Grove Press and Penguin Books.

The author became addicted to morphine so badly that he eventually was selling heroin to help him sustain the habit. Vollmer was addicted to counter amphetamine drug Benzedrine, causing her divorce with her husband. Burroughs would eventually be arrested in 1946 due to forging himself a narcotics prescription. He was released and returned to St. Louis, quickly leaving for Mexico to get divorced from Ilse Klapper. He would later live with Vollmer in a common-law marriage, moving to Texas to live with Vollmer’s daughter. The two were together and William S. Burroughs Jr., his first son, came into the world in 1947. The next year, they moved to New Orleans. The pairing would later dissolve when a drunk Burroughs shot Vollmer in the head after allegedly wanting to do their “William Tell Act”. He was convicted in absentia of homicide and given a two-year suspended sentence.

Today Burroughs is remembered for his unique writing, which was satirical and even violent in nature sometimes. His first novel to come out was Junkie, which was published in 1953 under the name William Lee. This was followed by the 1959 novel Naked Lunch, which was banned in the United States, published for the first time in Paris, and released in 1964 in Britain for consumption. Eventually, his future work became less outlandish in tone. Naked Lunch was turned into a 1991 movie directed by David Cronenberg. He also played Tom the Priest in the 1989 movie Drugstore Cowboy.

Burroughs composed 18 novels and novellas and ten collections of essays or short stories. A collection of letters between himself and Kerouac was published in 1963 called The Yage Letters. He also would write the Nova trilogy, which contains The Soft Machine, The Ticket That Exploded, and Nova Express. The first of these books was published in 1961. He also wrote The Cities of the Night trilogy, which began with the 1981 novel Cities of the Red Night, followed in 1984 by The Place of Dead Roads and followed by the 1987 novel The Western Lands.

The Cities of the Red Night is the first novel in the series. This is an apocalyptic story that is practically infused with opium. When a radioactive virus causes an epidemic in this community, young man take up arms to wage a war against mutants that will stop at nothing.

The sequel to this novel is The Place of Dead Roads. Set in the American west during the frontier days, the book opens with a shoot-out that will have the reader hooked as they follow gunslingers that are fighting for freedom in an adventure book that keeps you reading the pages until the very end.

Check out Burrough’s Cities of the Night series and enter into an adventure tale that you won’t want to end!

Book Series In Order » Authors » William S. Burroughs

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