[New York]: Penguin Books, 1979. First Edition Thus, Later Printing. Paperback. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Very Good +. Item #L071088
Slight rubbing to wrappers (chiefly to top edges); slight internal browning to edges. , 168,  pages. Later issue of the mass-market softcover edition of the short novel, featuring a conspiracy to explode a freight train carrying nerve gas. With date of 1979 and number line from 15 to 10 on title page verso; originally published in hardcover format in 1973 (see Maynard & Miles A23a). Signed and inscribed by Burroughs in black ink on title page recto: "For Steve Lowe / (who also contributed / to the cover) / William S. Burroughs / February 14, 1995". Indeed, the upper wrapper features a color reproduction of a painting credited to both Burroughs and "Steven Lowe", and dated 1993, on lower wrapper. Provenance: From the estate of Steven Harrison Lowe (formerly of Desert Hot Springs, CA). From the early 1970s until 1997, Lowe was an assistant to and collaborator with author, artist, cultural phenomenon and outcast William S. Burroughs. The two men enjoyed a long friendship and created art pieces, many of which were shown in the 1980s and 1990s at Casa Sin Nombre, Lowe's art gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. William S. Burroughs (1914-97) was born in the Midwest, and graduated from Harvard with an art degree in 1936. He was often a rascal, notorious for his addiction to heroin, and the shooting of his wife at a party in Mexico (the so-called "William Tell" incident). He'd worked and played in Vienna, Paris, London, Tangiers, Chicago, Mexico, and New York before finally retiring to Lawrence, Kansas in the 1990s, where he died. He stood the literary establishment on its ear in 1959 with the publication of his Beat classic Naked Lunch. During the 1980s, Burroughs combined his predilection for firearms with his desire to paint. His "gunshot paintings" were nearly as controversial in the art world as Naked Lunch had been in the literary world decades earlier.