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William Seward Burroughs II (5 February 1914 – 2 August 1997) was an American writer and visual artist. Burroughs was a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodern author whose influence affected popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians and made many appearances in films. He was also briefly known by the pen name William Lee. Burroughs created and exhibited thousands of paintings and other visual artworks, including his celebrated ‘Gunshot Paintings’.

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