They sat across from each other in a coffee shop. Writer William S. Burroughs had asked his good friend Jack Kerouac to lunch. It was Paris 1959. And Burroughs had just finished his novel. He was desperate. He needed a title for his book. They were caught in a frozen moment that day. Kerouac could feel his friend’s insecurities. His plight. And then it hit him. There is beauty in the exposed. The personal. The raw emotions one feels but never shows. Call it what it really is, he suggested…call it Naked Lunch.
So it became No. 76 in the Traveller’s Companion Series. And over a half century later, this novel and the tale of how it got its name would become the inspiration for our Spring 2014 collection.
Here’s a look at the boys in Paris circa 1959.