New York: Viking, 1985. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's blue cloth, stamped in silver, upper board blindstamped, lavender endpapers, original illustrated dust jacket.
"The rudeness of many Americans depressed him, a rudeness based on a solid ignorance of the whole concept of manners, and on the proposition that for social purposes, all people are more or less equal and interchangeable." First edition of proto-Beat legend William Burroughs's semi-autobiographical novel, one of his earliest works. An unstated companion to Junkie: Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict, the narrative recounts the drug-fueled breakdown of protagonist William Lee as he lustily meanders among the midcentury landscape of Mexico City with his male lover in search of the fictional drug "Yage." Although Burroughs wrote the novel in 1951, years before Naked Lunch established his reputation as one of the prominent figures of the postwar literary scene, it was only first published three decades later, due to its initial rejection for "candid homosexual content, and the author's own reluctance to make public the painful events it recounts." Frontispiece photo by Allen Ginsberg, dust jacket illustration by Georg Baselitz. Light toning to top edge of cloth, lightest wear to unclipped dust jacket. Near fine. Item #7315