Burroughs

Burroughs

[bur-ohz, buhr-]
Burroughs, Edgar Rice, 1875-1950, American novelist, creator of the character Tarzan. He is the author of Tarzan of the Apes (1914) and numerous other jungle and science fiction thrillers.

See biography by J. Taliaferro (1999).

Burroughs, John, 1837-1921, American naturalist and author, b. Roxbury, N.Y.; son of a farmer. He was a journalist, a treasury clerk in Washington, and a bank examiner, before settling in 1874 on a farm near Esopus, N.Y. There he studied fruit culture and literature. His first book, Walt Whitman, Poet and Person (1867), was the first to adequately recognize the genius of his poet friend. His prose made widely popular the type of nature essay written by Thoreau. His best-known books are Wake Robin (1871); Locusts and Wild Honey (1879); Fresh Fields, a travel book (1884); Signs and Seasons (1886); and a volume of poems, Bird and Bough (1906). A growing interest in philosophy and in science is evident in Time and Change (1912), The Summit of the Years (1913), The Breath of Life (1915), and Accepting the Universe (1922). "The Sage of Slabsides" became the friend of John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, Edison, Ford, and other important people. He traveled to the Pacific coast, the South, the West Indies, Europe, and (with the Harriman expedition) Alaska, recording natural phenomena in simple, expressive prose.

See his autobiography, My Boyhood (1922); biographies by E. B. Kelley (1959) and P. G. Westbrook (1974).

Burroughs, William Seward, 1914-97, American novelist, b. St. Louis, grad. Harvard, 1936. He was an elder member of the beat generation. Junkie (1953), originally published under the pseudonym William Lee, and Queer (written 1953, pub. 1985) are autobiographical accounts of his drug addiction, homosexual experiences, and the accidental killing of his wife. His best-known novel, Naked Lunch (1959), is a surrealistic depiction of the addict's existence. Burroughs's violent and bizarre fiction contributed to the redefinition of the novel's style and permissible subject matter. Later works include Cities of the Red Night (1981), Place of the Dead Roads (1984), Interzone (1989), and the semiautobiographical My Education: A Book of Dreams (1995).

See his journals, The Retreat Diaries (1976) and the posthumously published Last Words (ed. by J. Grauerholz, 1999); biographies by T. Morgan (1988) and B. Miles (1993); studies by J. Skerl (1985) and R. Lydenberg (1987).

Margaret Taylor-Burroughs is a prominent African-American artist and writer born on November 1, 1917 in Saint Rose, Louisiana, United States. By the time she was a teenager, the family had moved to Chicago, where Margaret attended high school. She graduated at Chicago Teachers College and then earned her Bachelors and Masters in Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago. Taylor-Burroughs married Bernard Goss in 1939. They later divorced. She married Charles Gordon Burroughs in 1949.

Taylor-Burroughs taught at DuSable High School for 23 years. From 1969 to 1979, she taught humanities at Kennedy-King College, a community college in Chicago. She and her husband co-founded what is now called the DuSable Museum of African-American Art in Chicago in 1961. For the first ten years of its existence, the museum operated out of the Burroughs' home and Taylor-Burroughs served as executive director. In 1989 Taylor-Burroughs won the Paul Robeson Award.

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