William S. Burroughs is consistently thought of as a novelist who is gay, rather than a gay novelist. This distinction is slight, yet remarkable, since it has meant that Burroughs has been excluded from the gay canon and from the scope of queer theory. In this intelligent book, Jamie Russell offers the first queer reading of Burrough's novels. He explores how the novels of Burroughs can be seen as a sustained attempt to offer a very personal rethinking of gay subjectivity, and as an attempt to overturn stereotypes of gay men as effeminate. Yet in his celebration and appropriation of some of the most violent, misogynistic, and effeminaphobic elements of heterosexually-identified masculinity, Burroughs's life and writing suggests a subjectivity which has been deeply troubling to many in the gay community.

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