‘Where are the snows of yesteryear. And the speedballs I useta know? Well, I guess it’s time for my Ovaltine and a long good night.’ In 1996 William Burroughs began writing a final journal. He died the following summer after a life of notoriety: godfather of the Beat writers, author of thirteen controversial novels, druggy, dangerous and bleak. Spanning the realms of personal memoir, cultural criticism and fiction, Burroughs’ diaries include anecdotes and memories, entries on his beloved cats and the joys of housekeeping, and musings on drug-taking, humanity and government cover-ups. ‘Last Words’ contains some of the most brutally personal prose in the William Burroughs canon, and the deaths of his friends, Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary, provide a window onto his own preparations for death – a quest for absolution marked by a profound sense of guilt and loss.
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