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Junkie (alternative title spelled Junky) is a 1953 semi-autobiographical  novel by William S. Burroughs. It was his first published novel and has come to be considered a seminal text on the lifestyle of heroin  addicts in the early 1950s. Burroughs' working title was Junk.

The novel was considered unpublishable more than it was controversial. Burroughs began it largely at the request and insistence of Allen Ginsberg, who was impressed by Burroughs’s letter-writing skill. Burroughs took up the task with little enthusiasm. However, partly because he saw that becoming a publishable writer was possible (his friend Jack Kerouac had published his first novel The Town and the City in 1950), he began to compile his experiences as an addict, ‘lush roller’ and small-time Greenwich Village heroin pusher.

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Tags: novel, Burroughs, first, heroin, Junkie, published