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book cover of The Yage Letters

The Yage Letters

(1963)
A non fiction book by

 
 
An early epistolary novel by William Burroughs, whose 1951 account of himself as as junkie, published under the pseudonym William Lee, ended "Yage may be the final fix". In letters to Allen Ginsberg, an unknown young poet in New York, his journey to the Amazon jungle is recorded, detailing picaresque incidents of a search for a telepathic-hallucinogenic-mind-expanding drug called yage (Ayahuasca, or Banisteripsis Caape), used by Amazon indian doctors for finding lost objects, mostly bodies and souls. Author and recipient of these letters met again in New York, Christmas 1953, and edited the writings to form this single book. The correspondence contains the first seeds of the later Burroughsian fantasy in "Naked Lunch". Seven years later Ginsberg in Peru writes his old guru an account of his own visions and terrors with the same drug, appealing for further counsel. Burroughs' mysterious reply is sent. The volume concludes with two epilogues: a short note from Ginsberg on his return from the Orient years later reassuring Self that he is still here on earth, and a final poetic cut-up by Burroughs, "I am dying, Meester?

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Paperback Editions

November 2008 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Yage Letters: Redux (Penguin Modern Classics)
Author(s): Allen Ginsberg, William S Burroughs
ISBN: 0-14-118986-X / 978-0-14-118986-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 2006 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Yage Letters Redux
Author(s): William S Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg
ISBN: 0-87286-448-0 / 978-0-87286-448-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: City Lights Publishers
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 1963 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Yage Letters
Author(s): William S Burroughs
ISBN: 0-87286-004-3 / 978-0-87286-004-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: City Lights Publishers
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

September 2013 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Yage Letters
Author(s): William S Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg
Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon   


September 2013 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Yage Letters
Author(s): William S Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg
Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon UK   


September 2013 : UK Audio CD
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Title: The Yage Letters
Author(s): Authors Various;William S Burroughs;Allen Ginsberg
ISBN: 1-4712-4319-2 / 978-1-4712-4319-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon UK