One and Only by Gerald Nicosia
The Untold Story of On the Road

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Synopsis

Beloved by both Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, Lu Anne Henderson’s story has never been told.

Lu Anne was a beautiful 15-year-old girl in Denver in 1945 when she met Neal, a fast-talking hurricane of male sexuality and vast promises. The two married, and soon they were hanging out with a group of would-be writers, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. But Neal and Jack initially didn’t like each other very much. Lu Anne taught them how to love each other — in effect, making the Beat Generation possible, as well as giving Kerouac material for one of the seminal novels of the 20th century, On the Road. One and Only traces the immense struggles of Lu Anne’s own life, which ranged from the split-up of her family to the ravages of abusive men, lingering illness, and the grief of losing the two most important men in her life.

Lu Anne Henderson did not live to see the filming of On the Road by Walter Salles, but One and Only tells how Twilight’s Kristen Stewart, through her work with both Nicosia and Anne Marie Santos (Lu Anne's daughter), came to find the key to playing Lu Anne in the film.
 

About Gerald Nicosia

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Gerald Nicosia is a biographer, historian, poet, playwright and novelist. His biography of Jack Kerouac, Memory Babe, won the Distinguished Young Writer Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters while still a work-in-progress. Called a "great book" by Allen Ginsberg and "by far the best of the many books published about Jack Kerouac's life and work" by William Burroughs, it is still widely regarded as the definitive work on Kerouac. From his years of work with Vietnam veterans on their issues of healing from the war came his book Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans' Movement, which won numerous honors and was picked by the Los Angeles Times as one of the "Best Books of the Year" in 2001. He has written numerous critical articles and reviews for almost every major newspaper in the U.S., and he publishes his poetry widely in the small presses, having earned a number of Pushcart nominations along the way. He has read his own work and organized readings on several continents, and has lectured on the Beats, Vietnam and the Sixties literally worldwide, at such venues as Columbia University in New York, Cambridge University in England, the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea, Wales, the Commune in Livorno, Italy and Sichuan University in Chengdu, China. Nicosia was invited by Director Walter Salles to pioneer the "Beat Boot Camp," creating an immersion experience for the actors in the upcoming major movie of On the Road.
 
Published November 1, 2011 by Viva Editions. 247 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Yet their friendship ran deep and had profound effects on both of their lives, as Henderson directly observed in her role as friend and lover: “I really believe there was something of an umbilical cord between the two of them, because their lives were so entwined, and they really both ran the sam...

Aug 16 2011 | Read Full Review of One and Only: The Untold Stor...

Publishers Weekly

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Other books on the beats have shown slight glimpses of Lu Anne Henderson, the “one true love” of Jack Kerouac’s sidekick Neal Cassady, but none does it as candidly as this new insider account of the creative forces of the movement that rocked America in the late 1950s.

Aug 29 2011 | Read Full Review of One and Only: The Untold Stor...

Examiner

According to ONE AND ONLY by Gerald Nicosia, a vital addition to the historical archives of Beat consciousness, Neal and Jack didn’t get along with each other before Lu Anne connected them.

Nov 27 2011 | Read Full Review of One and Only: The Untold Stor...

San Francisco Chronicle

Her oral history of the early Beats is interlarded with reflections on the major players of the age (Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, most notably), together with further reflections by Lu Anne's daughter, Anne Marie Santos.

Mar 04 2012 | Read Full Review of One and Only: The Untold Stor...

Bookmarks Magazine

Lu Anne became the secret link between Kerouac and Cassady, helping to ignite the Beat Generation, and giving Kerouac material for one of the seminal novels of the 20th century, On the Road.

Lu Anne Henderson did not live to see the filming of On the Road by Walter Salles, bu...

Mar 11 2012 | Read Full Review of One and Only: The Untold Stor...

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