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The Portable Beat Reader

by Edited by Ann Charters - £12.99  Penguin Books Ltd (2006)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780142437537 | ISBN 10: 0142437530

Beginning in the late 1940s, American literature discovered a four-letter word, and the word was "beat." Beat as in povery and beatitude, ecstasy and exile. Beat was Jack Kerouac touring the American road in prose as fast and reckless as a V-8 Chevy. It was the junk-sick surrealism of William Burroughs; the wild, Whitmanesque poetry of Alan Ginsberg; and the lumberjack Zen of Gary Snyder.
 
The Portable Beat Reader collects the most significant writing of these and fellow members (and spiritual descendants) of the Beat Generation, including Neal Cassady, Gregory Corso, Diane di Prima, Bob Dylan, Leroi Jones, and Michael McClure. In poetry, fiction, essays, song lyrics, letters and memoirs, it captures the triumphant rudeness, energy, and exhilaration of a movement that swept through American letters with hurricane force.

"A deft and definitive collection. It catches the flavour of playful, serious defiance of the whole generation."
(Gary Snyder)

(Price & availability last checked: May 2018)

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In booklists: USA: History, Writing Collections, USA: Culture and Society, USA: Radical America,
In categories: History & Biography, World - North America, Poetry & Writing, Media & Culture,

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