"And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks," the collaboration of Kerouac and Burroughs

A lecture and book signing by James Grauerholz, literary executor of the estate of the Beat writer William S. Burroughs

James Grauerholz, literary executor of the estate of the Beat writer William S. Burroughs, will talk about and sign the book, "And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks." It is the first publication of an early writing collaboration by Jack Kerouac and Burroughs. Grauerholz is the editor of the book and has written an extensive afterword. The talk and book signing is free, and the public is invited. Read our preview interview with Grauerholz. "And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks" (Grove Press), released this month, was written more than 60 years ago by Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs in New York City at the onset of the authors' career. Alternating chapters and narrators, it recounts an incident when one of their friends killed another in a moment of brutal and tragic bloodshed. The authors pieced together a hard-boiled tale of Bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and obsession, art and violence, and scenes and characters inspired by their own lives. The manuscript, whose title originated from a line in a news story about a fire at a circus, was rejected by publishers and left in a filing cabinet for decades. Kerouac, the father of the Beat Generation, also wrote "On The Road," "The Dharma Bums," "The Subterraneans," and other novels. He died in 1969. Burroughs, one of the country's most influential writers and a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters, wrote numerous books including "Naked Lunch," "Nova Express," "The Ticket That Exploded," "The Soft Machine," and "The Wild Boys." He died in 1997.James Grauerholz is a Kansas native and University of Kansas alumnus who was an adjunct lecturer in American Studies at KU from 2001-2005. Grauerholz was the longtime editor, bibliographer, and business manager of William S. Burroughs, first in New York City and later in Lawrence, where Burroughs moved in 1981 and lived productively in retirement until his death. Grauerholz aided in the popularization of Burroughs' work and was particularly involved as editor in his later publications, including the trilogy of novels "Cities of the Red Night," "The Place of Dead Roads," and "The Western Lands," a compilation of stories titled "Interzone," an anthology "The Burroughs File," and the dream diary, "My Education: A Book of Dreams." Grauerholz assisted Burroughs with reading engagements, recordings, art exhibits, and work in commercials, plays, and films. He wrote a detailed biographical sketch for "Word Virus: The William S. Burroughs Reader" and edited a posthumous release of Burroughs' diaries, "Last Words: The Final Journals of William S. Burroughs."Oread Books, a division of the KU Bookstores, is located on level two of the Kansas Union at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. The selection and events at Oread Books are reflective of the campus community, always current, and representing diverse points of view. As a nonprofit organization in the division of Student Success, the KU Bookstores gives all proceeds back to KU through student programs, services, and activities.


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