The Definitive Text of Junk (50th Anniversary Edition)
Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780142003169, 208pp.
Publication Date: April 1, 2003
Before his 1959 breakthrough, Naked Lunch, an unknown William S. Burroughs wrote Junk, his first book, a candid, eyewitness account of times and places that are now long gone. This book brings them vividly to life again; it is an unvarnished field report from the American postwar underground. For this definitive 50th-anniversary edition, eminent Burroughs scholar Oliver Harris has painstakingly re-created the author's original text, word by word, from archival typescripts. Here for the first time are Burroughs's own unpublished Introduction and an entire omitted chapter, along with many "lost" passages and auxiliary texts by Allen Ginsberg and others. Harris's comprehensive Introduction reveals the composition history of Junk's text and places its contents against a lively historical background.
Oliver Harris edited The Letters of William S. Burroughs 1945-1959. He is currently a lecturer in American Literature at the University of Keele.