Door Wide Open by Joyce Johnson

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Synopsis

On a blind date in Greenwich Village set up by Allen Ginsberg, Joyce Johnson (then Joyce Glassman) met Jack Kerouac in January 1957, nine months before he became famous overnight with the publication of On the Road. She was an adventurous, independent-minded twenty-one-year-old; Kerouac was already running on empty at thirty-five. This unique book, containing the many letters the two of them wrote to each other, reveals a surprisingly tender side of Kerouac. It also shares the vivid and unusual perspective of what it meant to be young, Beat, and a woman in the Cold War fifties. Reflecting on those tumultuous years, Johnson seamlessly interweaves letters and commentary, bringing to life her love affair with one of American letters' most fascinating and enigmatic figures.
 

About Joyce Johnson

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Jack Kerouac(1922-1969), the central figure of the Beat Generation, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922 and died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969. Among his many novels are On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, and Visions of Cody. Joyce Johnson is the author of three novels, including The Night Café. Her other books include Minor Characters, which was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Door Wide Open: A Beat Love Affair in Letters, 1957-1958. Joyce Johnson is the author of three novels, including The Night Café. Her other books include Minor Characters, which was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Door Wide Open: A Beat Love Affair in Letters, 1957-1958. Joyce Johnson is the author of three novels, including The Night Café. Her other books include Minor Characters, which was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Door Wide Open: A Beat Love Affair in Letters, 1957-1958.
 
Published June 5, 2000 by Viking Adult. 182 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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An annotated collection of letters exchanged between novelist Johnson (In the Night Café, 1989, etc.) and Kerouac (1922–69) during the two years (1957–58) of their stormy (and not terribly romantic) love affair.

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Publishers Weekly

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In a hip, literate correspondence marked by high diction and '50s slang, 21-year-old Johnson (born Glassman) and 35-year-old Kerouac chart the flowering of the Beats and their complicated love affair.

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