Originally written in 1952 but not published till 1985, Queer is an enigma - both an unflinching autobiographical self-portrait and a coruscatingly political novel, Burroughs' only realist love story and a montage of comic-grotesque fantasies that paved the way for his masterpiece, Naked Lunch. Set in Mexico City during the early fifties, Queer follows William Lee's hopeless pursuit of desire from bar to bar in the American expatriate scene. As Lee breaks down, the trademark Burroughsian voice emerges; a maniacal mix of self-lacerating humor and the Ugly American at his ugliest. A haunting tale of possession and exorcism, Queer is also a novel with a history of secrets, as this new edition reveals.
En 1959 est publié à Paris Le Festin nu, qui révèle le talent scandaleux de William Burroughs. À l'origine, le manuscrit s'intitulait Interzone. Le Festin nu était le résultat d'un choix parmi le millier de pages d'un matériau que Burroughs répartit ensuite entre La Machine molle, Le ticket qui explosa et Nova Express. Restaient les 175 pages du manuscrit original qui n'ont été retrouvées qu'en 1984. Celles-ci nous permettent de reconstituer la genèse d'un des chefs-d'oeuvre de la littérature du XXe siècle. Ces fragments narratifs, ces lettres inachevées où l'écrivain américain dévoile à son ami Allen Ginsberg les progrès de son cheminement labyrinthique, ces « routines » où domine la figure grise et énigmatique de son double, William Lee, représentent la manifestation la plus pure de l'esprit de Burroughs et sa volonté de faire de l'écriture un moyen d'exploration transgressif des régions mentales encore inexplorées et dangereuses.
Those who inhabit Last Exit to Brooklyn are unforgettable: Harry, the strike leader, who during his weeks of power discovers something of his true nature; Tralala, who rejects the only love she is offered and sinks swiftly to the lowest level of prostitution; Georgette, the 'hip queer' with pathetic aspirations to culture; Abraham, the 'cool ass' black stud, with his girls, his 'bigass' Cadillac, and his undernourished family; the debris of American civilisation, for whom the author ultimately makes us feel a profound compassion. Last Exit to Brooklyn was found obscene at the Old Bailey in November 1967, a decision which was reversed by a historic Appeal Court judgement in July 1968. Now this 'honest and terrible book', as Anthony Burgess describes it in his Introduction to this new edition, can take its rightful place as one of the major books of our time.
The town in this tale is Galloway, Massachusetts, birthplace of the five sons and three daughters of the Martin family in the early 1900s. The city is New York, the heaving melting pot which lures them all in search of futures and identity.
Tish is nineteen, and pregnant. Her lover Fonny, father of her child, is in jail accused of rape. The two families struggle win justice for Fonny.
First published in 1957, this book attempts to tackle the conflict between homosexual and heterosexual love. It tells of David, a young man awakening to his true homosexual nature, through a relationship with a barman named Giovanni, as he awaits his fiancee's arrival from Spain.
"Dubliners" brings us moments from the lives of the men and women who inhabit James Joyce's Dublin, from truants, seducers, gossips and politicians to sentimental aunts, cunical patriots and struggling musicians. it is a gromy city full of cynicism and disappointment, yet with moments of rare epiphany that bring people and their hopes vividly to life.
When Cousin Lymon, a dwarf and a hunchback, arrives at Miss Amelia's store, he releases feelings of tenderness in Miss Amelia's hardened heart. Together they transform the store into a cafe. But their contentment is to be short lived, for Miss Amelia's estranged husband finds his way back to her.
Jim has fallen into a job at one of the new red brick universities. A moderately successful future beckons as long as Jim can survive a madrigal-singing weekend, deliver a lecture on "merrie England" and resist Christine, the girlfriend of Professor Welch's son, Bertrand.
Alex Leamas is tired. It's the 1960s, he's been out in the cold for years, spying in Berlin for his British masters, and has seen too many good agents murdered for their troubles. Now Control wants to bring him in at last - but only after one final assignment.
He must travel deep into the heart of Communist Germany and betray his country, a job that he will do with his usual cynical professionalism. But when George Smiley tries to help a young woman Leamas has befriended, Leamas's mission may prove to be the worst thing he could ever have done.
In le Carré's breakthrough work of 1963, the spy story is reborn as a gritty and terrible tale of men who are caught up in politics beyond their imagining.
Nightmarish and fiercely funny, William Burroughs' virtuoso, taboo-breaking masterpiece Naked Lunch follows Bill Lee through Interzone: a surreal, orgiastic wasteland of drugs, depravity, political plots, paranoia, sadistic medical experiments and endless, gnawing addiction. One of the most shocking novels ever written, Naked Lunch is a cultural landmark, now in a restored edition incorporating Burroughs' notes on the text, alternate drafts and outtakes from the original. 'A masterpiece. A cry from hell, a brutal, terrifying, and savagely funny book that swings between uncontrolled hallucination and fierce, exact satire' Newsweek ' Naked Lunch is a banquet you will never forget' J. G. Ballard
After seven years of marriage, the Lady Brenda Last is bored with country life at Hetton Abbey. She drifts into an affair with shallow young socialite, John Beaver, and forsakes her unsuspecting husband as she becomes involved with the glamorous Belgravia set.
Lady Constance Chatterley is trapped in a loveless marriage to a man who is impotent. Oppressed by her dreary life, she is drawn to Mellors the gamekeeper. Breaking out against the constraints of society she yields to her instinctive desire for him and discovers the transforming power of physical love which leads them both towards fulfillment.
An allegorical guide to living, the protagonist, simply called "the prophet", delivers spiritual, yet practical, homilies on a variety of topics central to daily life: love, marriage and children; work and play; beauty, truth, joy and sorrow, death and many more.
'The ultimate Camp statement: it's good because it's awful.' These two classic essays were the first works of criticism to break down the boundaries between 'high' and 'low' culture, and made Susan Sontag a literary sensation. Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
This is a portrait of people on the margin of society, dependent on one another for both physical and emotional survival. Written in 1945, this book focuses on the acceptance of life as it is: both the exuberance of community and the loneliness of the individual.
'This is the work of a born storyteller at the height of his powers' Edmund White, Washington Post When Arthur Montana, world-renowned 'Emperor of Soul', is found dead in a London pub, his grief-stricken brother looks back over thirty years in the lives of their group of friends: from their childhood spent preaching and singing in Harlem churches, to their struggles with war and poverty, and their encounters with wealth, love and fame. Set against a vividly drawn background of the civil rights movement of the sixties, Baldwin's last novel is a monumental saga that ranges from New York to Paris, Korea to Africa to portray how profoundly racial politics can shape life, especially in the private business of love. 'Warm, melancholy . . . Hall Montana's voice is the conduit for Baldwin's most distinctive quality as a writer, his abundant tenderness' The New York Times
The portrayal of Stephen Dedalus's Dublin childhood and youth, his quest of identity through art and his gradual emancipation from the claims of his family, religion and Ireland itself, is also an oblique self-portrait of the young James Joyce and a testament to the artist's "eternal imagination".
'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' This landmark missive from one of the greatest activists in history calls for direct, non-violent resistance in the fight against racism, and reflects on the healing power of love. Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
Sabrina is a firebird blazing through 1950s New York: she is a woman daring to enjoy the sexual licence that men have always known. Wearing extravagant outfits and playing dangerous games of desire, she deliberately avoids committment, gripped by the pursuit of pleasure for its own sake.