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The Cambridge Companion to the Beats
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The Cambridge Companion to the Beats offers an in-depth overview of one of the most innovative and popular literary periods in America, the Beat era. The Beats were a literary and cultural phenomenon originating in New York City in the 1940s that reached worldwide significance. Although its most well-known figures are Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs, the Beat movement radiates out to encompass a rich diversity of figures and texts that merit further study. Consummate innovators, the Beats had a profound effect not only on the direction of American literature, but also on models of socio-political critique that would become more widespread in the 1960s and beyond. Bringing together the most influential Beat scholars writing today, this Companion provides a comprehensive exploration of the Beat movement, asking critical questions about its associated figures and arguing for their importance to postwar American letters.


'This Companion locates an understanding of the Beats beyond the familiar, identifying a wide range of writers and approaches to writing which are associated with the term Beat. This factor alone makes the volume worthwhile for any reader looking to read beyond the 'canonical' Beat authors … As one would expect from a series as authoritative as the Cambridge Companions, every chapter is informed by up-to-date scholarship, written in an approachable style and is fully referenced.'

Linda Kemp Source: Languages and Literature

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