Naked Lunch: The Fiftieth Anniversary

Retrospective essays and literary events
Author William S. Burroughs sitting at a crude table with typewriter, holding a cigarette and looking away. Photograph by Loomis Dean. Life Magazine
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original publication of Naked Lunch, by William S Burroughs. Given the book's ongoing influence it goes without saying that this is a significant milestone. However, when the book first appeared in Paris in 1959 (mistitled as The Naked Lunch) on the small Olympia Press, it had little impact. Because of this, perhaps a more important anniversary is that of the novel's first US publication in 1962. For that's when Burroughs's controversial drug-and-sex-fuelled classic truly burst into the limelight, both because it was recognised by large numbers of critics and readers as a breakthrough piece of literature and also because of a series of obscenity trials it inspired.
William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of its publication this year. NakedLunch.org is celebrating the occasion with a series of retrospective essays and literary events. The website has been organized at least in part by the people over at Reality Studio, a longtime William Burroughs appreciation site, and for this reason alone it's worthy of any self-professed Burroughsian's attention. Enjoy the feast!