Naked Lunch was banned, castigated, and recognized as a work of genius on its first publication in 1959, and fifty years later it has lost nothing of its power to astonish, shock, and inspire. A lacerating satire, an exorcism of demons, a grotesque cabinet of horrors, it is the Black Book of the Beat Generation, the forerunner of the psychedelic counterculture, and a progenitor of postmodernism and the digital age. A work of excoriating laughter, linguistic derangement, and transcendent beauty, it remains both influential and inimitable.
This is the first book devoted in its entirety to William Burroughs’ masterpiece, bringing together an international array of scholars, artists, musicians, and academics from many fields to explore the origins, writing, reception, and complex meanings of Naked Lunch. Tracking the legendary book from Texas and Mexico to New York, Tangier, and Paris, Naked Lunch@50 significantly advances our understanding and appreciation of this most elusive and uncanny of texts.