Tornado Alley (book)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Tornado Alley is a collection of short stories and one poem by Beat Generation author, William S. Burroughs, written during the later years of his career and first published in 1989. The first edition of the book included illustrations by S. Clay Wilson.

Notable pieces in the collection include the poem "Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1986" and the crime melodrama "Where He Was Going", which Burroughs said on his album Dead City Radio was inspired by Ernest Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro".

The collection is dedicated to 1930s gangster John Dillinger, "in hope that he is still alive".

Both "Where He Was Going" and "Thanksgiving Day" were performed by Burroughs on his 1990 spoken word/musical album, Dead City Radio, with "Thanksgiving Day" also being performed by Burroughs in a music video directed by Gus Van Sant to promote the CD. In both the CD and video versions of "Thanksgiving Day", which was retitled "A Thanksgiving Prayer", Burroughs appends the dedication to Dillinger.


The stories contained within Tornado Alley are:

  • Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1986 (poem)
  • Jerry and the Stockbroker
  • To Talk for Joe the Dead
  • Dead-End Reeking Street
  • The FUs
  • Book of Shadows
  • Where He Was Going

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Tornado Alley (book)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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