|Exhibition poster © Shay Peterson (2015)|
Sam Kashner, When I Was Cool: My Life at the Jack Kerouac School (New York: HarperCollins, 2003), pp. 33-34—
He [novelist William S. Burroughs] liked talking about being eight years old. At that age Burroughs had a secret hiding place under the back steps of his parents' house, a secret place where he kept a box, and in the box was a spoon, a candle, and some type of instrument for investigating the forging of hard metals for weapons. It was also around the time he said that he shot off his first gun and wrote his first story. It was called "Autobiography of a Wolf," a ten-page story about an animal who lost his mate and was killed by a grizzly bear. Burroughs said his parents had listened politely to the story. "Surely you mean biography of a wolf," he father had told him. "No," Burroughs insisted. "I mean the autobiography of a wolf." They sent him to Harvard.