top of page
The Naked Lunch by William Burroughs first UK edition 1964

The Naked Lunch by William Burroughs first UK edition 1964


London: John Calder, 1964 


8vo., original camel-coloured publisher’s boards, backstrip lettered in gilt, with publisher’s device to foot; together in the original unclipped dust jacket (42s.), featuring a photograph of the author with red eyes to the upper panel; pp. [v], 2-251, [i]; a little pushing to spine tips; with a couple of small spots and slight lean to the text block; a crisp copy, otherwise; the dust jacket toned and a little shelf worn, with small nicks to edges, particularly affecting head of spine; and one small closed tear (2.5cm approx) neatly repaired internally with archival tape; very good. 


First UK edition, originally published in Paris by the Olympia Press in 1959. 


The Naked Lunch can reasonably be described as Burrough’s best-known work. The drug-and-sex-fuelled narrative, written in a series of vignettes, was designed to be read in any order, and became incredibly popular during the beatnik period of the 1960s. Unsurprisingly, it was subjected to a series of obscenity trials, most famously in Boston, when both Allen Ginsberg and Norman Mailer testified in its defence. 


In his introduction, Burroughs writes: "The title means exactly what the words say: NAKED lunch - a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork."


A nice example of the UK edition, with the jacket arguably more arresting than its American counterpart. 

    Product Page: Stores_Product_Widget
    bottom of page