Jack Kerouac by Jack Kerouac
Selected Letters: Volume 2

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Synopsis

When Viking published the first volume of Jack Kerouac's letters in 1995, it was considered a major addition to Kerouac scholarship. The early correspondence portended the uninhibited and spontaneous prose style that would later become the author's trademark. In the second and final volume of this life-in-letters, Ann Charters, renowned Kerouac biographer and editor of The Portable Jack Kerouac, features selected letters that illuminate the latter years of this inimitable writer--the years of fame, alcohol, and disillusionment.

Written between 1957, the year of the publication of On the Road, and two days before his death in 1969 at the age of forty-seven, Kerouac's letters tell his own story through his candid and voluminous correspondence to friends and confidants--from Malcolm Cowley, Allen Ginsberg, and Gary Snyder to Joyce Johnson, John Clellon Holmes and Sterling Lord. In his letters, Kerouac explores his development as a writer, as well as revealing how the onslaught of publicity and criticism after the publication of On the Road in 1957 nearly destroyed him. Offering unparalleled insights into the mind and life of a giant of the American literary landscape, Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters 1957-1969 is a major addition to the understanding of the artist and his work.
 

About Jack Kerouac

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Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922. His first novel, The Town and the City, was published in 1950. He considered all of his "true story novels," including On the Road, to be chapters of "one vast book," his autobiographical Legend of Duluoz. He died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969 at the age of forty-seven.
 
Published July 1, 1999 by Diane Pub Co. 576 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Jack Kerouac

The New York Times

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The scroll clarifies the book’s connection to the past — to Mark Twain and tramp narratives and Woody Guthrie and cowboy sagas — and underlines the features it shares with its nearest contemporaneous cultural relative, Robert Frank’s great photographic road book “The Americans.” The novel that “O...

Aug 19 2007 | Read Full Review of Jack Kerouac: Selected Letter...

The New York Times

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“Tonight while walking on the waterfront in the angelic streets I suddenly wanted to tell you how wonderful I think you are,” Jack Kerouac began a typical letter to his friend Allen Ginsberg in 1950.

Aug 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Jack Kerouac: Selected Letter...

BC Books

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Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters contains nearly 200 letters, and the book is the first publication of nearly two-thirds of the letters.

Jul 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Jack Kerouac: Selected Letter...

The Telegraph

The first line isn’t what Sal (Sam Riley) says on the page – “I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up” – but what Kerouac wrote in an earlier draft: “I first met Dean not long after my father died.” It’s a significant change, and key to what Salles and his Motorcycle Diari...

Oct 11 2012 | Read Full Review of Jack Kerouac: Selected Letter...

The Boston Globe

sanctioned by the Kerouac Estate.” (A few years ago I witnessed Gerald Nicosia, whose 1983 “Memory Babe’’ still reigns over the Kerouac biographies, get shouted down by functionaries of the estate when Nicosia interrupted a Kerouac conference in Lowell to protest the inaccessibility of the writer...

Oct 10 2012 | Read Full Review of Jack Kerouac: Selected Letter...

Los Angeles Review of Books

I knew what I was interested in most, which was writing a book where the whole center of it would be Jack’s development as a writer, and I also knew that I wanted to explore the influence on Jack of his French-Canadian heritage, and I felt I would find material in the archive on both those intere...

Dec 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Jack Kerouac: Selected Letter...

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