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William S. Burroughs was an American author and countercultural figure known for his groundbreaking and often controversial writing. Born in 1914, Burroughs was a member of the Beat Generation and is best known for his novel Naked Lunch, which was published in 1959 and sparked a major literary controversy for its explicit language and sexual content. Throughout his career, Burroughs wrote a number of other novels, short stories, and essays that explored themes of drug addiction, homosexuality, and the dark side of American society. He is considered a major influence on the development of modern literature and countercultural movements. Burroughs passed away in 1997 at the age of 83.