"The conversations had a nightmarish flatness, talking dice spilled in the tube metal chairs, human aggregates disintegrating in cosmic insanity, random events in a dying universe."
BURROUGHS, William S as William Lee. Junkie: Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict. New York: Ace, 1953.
8vo. Original paperback covers; Pp. 149 (Junkie); pp. 169 (Narcotic Agent). Near fine with very light rubbing, slight creasing to spine, and a little browning to the text block.
First edition. Burrough's fragile, pseudonymous, and arguably most famous book, bound back-to-back with Narcotic Agent by Maurice Helbrant as issued.
Often erroneously regarded as Burrough's first novel, Junkie was issued under the penname William Lee (his mother's maiden name), and chronicles the day-to-day life of a heroin addict. It was, however, preceeded by And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, which was penned in collaboration with his lifelong friend Jack Kerouac. Burroughs originally chose the title of 'Junk' for this novel, but this was discarded by the publishers, who argued that it would appear to be a literal piece of Junk rather than a study of drug use. That it was issued at all is entirely due to the force and pressure of his friend Allen Ginsberg, who became his agent and editor, and found a publisher for it through Carl Soloman (nephew of A. A. Wyn, owner of Ace Books), whom he had come across in a psychiatric hospital years earlier. Ace solely published paperbacks, and so the book was first issued in this format, in an attempt tp appeal to subway riders. Their books were generally regarded as having little to no literary merit.
An attractive, bright copy of a seminal work in the countercultural movement of the 1950s.