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The Outlaw Bible of American Literature Paperback – December 30, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry (1999) broke the ground on which this second resounding gathering of counterculture voices is now planted. Just as the term outlaw bible sets off a pleasurably oxymoronic frisson, so, too, does this collection's heady and revealing mix of literary excellence, political conviction, grittiness, and sexy highjinks. The editors--Kaufman, author of Jew Boy (2000); "gonzo publisher" Neil Ortenberg; and Barney Rosset, the famed founder of Grove Press and publisher of Henry Miller, William S. Burroughs, and Kathy Acker, all represented here--interpret the term literature broadly, and so include Miles Davis recalling prickly moments with Charlie Parker and Milton Berle, Annie Sprinkle recounting her "brushes with the law," a graphic tale by Harvey Pekar, a reminiscence by alpha Hell's Angel Sonny Barger, and a rave by Timothy Leary. But here, too, are Grace Paley, Paul Bowles, Ray Bradbury, Jessica Hagedorn, Sapphire, Clive Barker, and Don De Grazia. Short takes, enticing categories, outspoken voices, and surprising juxtapositions make for a lively and illuminating sampling, a real reading party. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 920 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; First Edition edition (December 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560255501
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560255505
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #730,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reader in Tokyo on April 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book was published in 2004 and contained 143 works by 134 authors. There were 53 excerpts from memoirs, 49 excerpts from novels, 11 short stories or excerpts from them, 8 excerpts from autobiographical or nonfiction short stories, 8 essays or excerpts, and 2 excerpts from nonfiction novels (Tom Wolfe on Ken Kesey, Ed Sanders on Charles Manson). There were also a few selections from letters, interviews, screenplays, a comic monologue, a poem, a journal, a play and a graphic novel.

The works ranged from 1914 (the activist Margaret Sanger) to the 2000s, with something for each decade during the period. One-quarter of the selections came from the 1990s, and four-fifths from the 1960s to the present.

What does it mean to be an "outlaw"? Here the term seemed to cover anyone who rebelled against conformity, in their lives or in their art, or whose actions -- robbery, murder -- put them beyond the pale. Also included were those who wrote about such things or other aspects of humanity's dark side. A few political rebels were included, but were far from being the main focus and -- this being a literary anthology -- their life experiences were excerpted rather than their social/political/economic analysis and criticism.

The works were grouped in sections for the Beats, rockers, feminists, motorcycle gangs, African-Americans, the down and out, dysfunctional families, crime novels, other fiction, prison writing, writing on sex, and a few, more vague categories like "voices from outlaw heaven," "renegades," "white line fever" and "playing in the apocalypse." The collection naturally was uneven and partly a function of clever marketing but still enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By cindy jones on November 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
my enligh teacher at a certain portland, or community college used this as his textbook, and it was the best class i have ever spent money on, fun, interesting, and exposed us to lots of alternative writers
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By Sara in Baltimore on September 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am using excerpts of this book for my AP Literature class and my students find it very engaging. I purchased this because i owned (and loved) the poetry version of this book.
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By Kathy J Dyer on May 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Haven`t read much yet but like the selection of non-approved American Literature for lack of a better word. Should be interesting/challenging reading.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dominic Giafagleone on January 13, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have a love hate relationship involving this book. I LOVE this book it is one of the only places you can find D.A. Levy's poems. I HATE myself because I have lost it 3 times and I am now on my fourth copy. But this book is great enough where I will buy 4 copies ($65.88) just so i can not be long with out it. It is in my backpack it is on my nightstand. This has given me great perspective within my own writing. Though it could use some more super recent poets (Def jam and some more recent slammers) but over all it is one of the most influential books in my life
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