Influential novelist and Beat Generation icon Jean-Louis "Jack" Kerouac was born on March 12, 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts.
According to Chase's Calendar of Events: "Kerouac is best known for his novel On The Road, published in 1957, which celebrates the Beat ideal of noncomformity. Kerouac published The Dharma Bums in 1958, followed by The Subterraneans the same year, Doctor Sax and its sequel Maggie Cassidy in 1959, Lonesome Traveler in 1960, Big Sur in 1962 and Desolation Angels in 1965."
Commemorate the birth anniversary of this prominent and controversial American literary figure by reading one of the novels listed above, or by digging deeper into his life and work with one of these items:
What Happened to Kerouac? [NONFICTION DVD]
Investigates the personal history and creative process of Jack Kerouac, father of the Beat Generation, author of "On the road", and a pivotal figure of the fifties countercultural revolution. Shows what happened when fame and notoriety were thrust upon an essentially reticent man.
Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg : The Letters / edited by Bill Morgan and David Stanford
Commencing in 1944 while Ginsberg was a student at Columbia University and continuing until shortly before Kerouac's death in 1969, the two hundred letters included in this book provide astonishing insight into their lives and their writing. While not always in agreement, Ginsberg and Kerouac inspired each other spiritually and creatively, and their letters became a vital workshop for their art.
Legions of youthful Americans have taken On the Road as a manifesto for rebellion and an inspiration to hit the road. But there is much more to the novel than that. Leland embarks on a wry, insightful, and playful discussion of the novel, arguing that it still matters because at its core it is a book that is full of lessons about how to grow up.
The Awakener : A Memoir of Kerouac and the Fifties / Helen Weaver
"Firsthand witness to the beat literary movement, Weaver pays homage to the man and the writer Jack Kerouac, whom she met and fell in love with in 1956. Befriending Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and comic Lenny Bruce, she makes these iconic counterculture figures tangible and captures New York's Greenwich Village of the '50s and '60s." - Publishers Weekly
The Voice is All : The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac / Joyce Johnson
A profile of the iconic author's early years offers insight into his efforts to bridge his dual cultural heritage while exploring how his French Canadian background enriched his prose.