Title: The Yage Letters
Author: William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg
Page Count/Review Word Count: 140
It’s hard to classify this one, because it’s a bit of a mixture between fiction and non-fiction in the same way that a lot of the Beat Generation’s works were.
It’s a sort of epistolary novel that documents Burroughs’ search for yagé, which is essentially ayahuasca, through a series of letters that he sent to Allen Ginsberg. Except as the introductory essay notes, the majority of the book was written after the fact and didn’t appear in the letters.
It was a lot of fun to read, but weirdly I think that Oliver Harris’ introductory essay was my favourite part of all. Either way, you’ll need to read it if you’re a Burroughs fan.