A Year in Books/Day 33: Webster’s Dictionary of American Writers

  • Title: Webster’s Dictionary of American Writers
  • Year Published: 2004 (Barnes & Noble)
  • Year Purchased: 2005
  • Source: Barnes & Noble clearance rack
  • About: A dense, delightfully thorough history of every American writer of merit, popularity or notoriety since the 17th Century.
  • Motivation: I gobble up data like Wheaties or mac and cheese. I write about dead writers. I love history.
  • Times Read: Cover-to-cover-1/As reference tool-countless.
  • Random Excerpt/Page 65: “Grandson of the inventor of the adding machine, Burroughs was born into wealth and graduated from Harvard University in 1936. While living in New York, he met Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac and became one of the early core members of the group that would become known as the Beats. He became addicted to heroin around 1945 and would remain a junkie for almost 15 years. While living in Mexico in 1951, he killed his second wife in an attempt to shoot a glass off her head at a party. He fled Mexico and wandered through the Amazon region, continuing his experiments with drugs, experiences described in ‘The Yage Letters’ (1963), his 1953 correspondence with Allen Ginsberg.
  • Happiness Scale: 9
    Signature of Allen Ginsberg

    Image via Wikipedia


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