Soft Cover. New York: Ace Books, Inc., 1953. First Edition. Fine.
First edition, first printing. Bound dos à dos with Maurice Helbrant's Narcotic Agent. Publisher's pictorial paper wrappers, lettered in white and yellow. About fine, with a hint of rubbing to the extremities, faint toning to the otherwise fresh pages. A handsome copy of Burroughs' first book. Housed in a custom quarter morocco slipcase with matching chemise. Maynard and Miles A1a. Junkie is a semi-autobiographical novel about a heroin addict living in New York City that was first published under Burroughs' penname William Lee. Specifically, Burroughs chronicles the events and struggles in the daily life of a heroin addict, rather than the psychoactive thrills of being high. Indeed, as he remarks in the preface, "Junk is not… a means to increased enjoyment of life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life." Like the majority of the author's works, Junkie is comprised of a series of vignettes (called "routines"), but the text is easily one of the most linear texts of Burroughs' writing; the author had not yet fully developed his cut-and-paste methodology that would shape his later works. Interestingly, Burroughs originally chose the title Junk for this novel, but it was published by Ace as Junkie, because the publishers thought that "Junk" would indicate that the novel was itself a literal piece of junk rather than a study of drug use.