Burroughs was born Christopher Richter Robison in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the younger of two sons to poet Margaret Robison and John G. Robison, former head of the philosophy department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the younger brother of fellow memoirist John Elder Robison. He was raised in Massachusetts, including the towns of Shutesbury, Amherst, and Northampton. His parents divorced on July 29, 1978, when Burroughs was twelve years old, and he was adopted by his mother's psychiatrist who resided in the Northampton area.
Burroughs dropped out of school after the sixth grade and obtained a GED at age 17. He chose his name at age 18, and legally changed it in Boston. He later enrolled at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, Massachusetts, as a pre-med student, dropping out before the end of the first semester. He decided to settle in New York City and worked for a Manhattan-based advertising company. In 1996, he sought treatment for alcoholism at a rehabilitation center in Minnesota before returning to Manhattan.
His books are published by St. Martin's Press and Picador. Some of his childhood experiences were chronicled in Running with Scissors (2002), which was later made into a film.
further information about whether it's a memoir vs autobiography: