Burroughs and Kerouac - an unpublished collaboration

Thursday, November 6, 2008


The young generation: Burroughs and Kerouac - an unpublished collaboration

In 1944, two aspiring writers named William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac were implicated in a murder that scandalised New York. The episode inspired a collaboration, a debut that remained unpublished – until now. John Walsh gives the lowdown on the novel that set them on the road.

Fans of the Beat generation have known for years about The Novel That Kicked It All Off, but they've had to wait until the death of a journalist at United Press International for it to be published. The appearance in print of And the Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks by William S Burroughs and Jack Kerouac is a literary event, not only because it drew two of the three leading Beat writers into confederacy, but because the book told a story – of male friendship, gay obsession and murder – that came to fascinate a score of American authors.

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2 comments:

Sister Wolf Sat Nov 08, 12:44:00 AM EST  

holy shit, I had no idea!! thanks for this tip. xo

Brenda Mon Nov 10, 04:54:00 PM EST  

I had no idea this book existed. I'm a long time fan of Kerouac and can hardly wait to get my hands on a copy.

Thank you for writing about it.

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