MINOR CHARACTERS A BEAT MEMOIR

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Minor Characters

Author : Joyce Johnson
ISBN : 9781440621246
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 76.48 MB
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Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award “Among the great American literary memoirs of the past century. . .a riveting portrait of an era. . .Johnson captures this period with deep clarity and moving insight.” – Dwight Garner, The New York Times In 1954, Joyce Johnson’s Barnard professor told his class that most women could never have the kinds of experiences that would be worth writing about. Attitudes like that were not at all unusual at a time when “good” women didn’t leave home or have sex before they married; even those who broke the rules could merely expect to be minor characters in the dramas played by men. But secret rebels, like Joyce and her classmate Elise Cowen, refused to accept things as they were. As a teenager, Johnson stole down to Greenwich Village to sing folksongs in Washington Square. She was 21 and had started her first novel when Allen Ginsberg introduced her to Jack Kerouac; nine months later she was with Kerouac when the publication of On the Road made him famous overnight. Joyce had longed to go on the road with him; instead she got a front seat at a cultural revolution under attack from all sides; made new friends like Hettie and LeRoi Jones, and found herself fighting to keep the shy, charismatic, tormented Kerouac from destroying himself. It was a woman’s adventure and a fast education in life. What Johnson and other Beat Generation women would discover were the risks, the heartache and the heady excitement of trying to live as freely as the rebels they loved.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Minor Characters

Author : Joyce Johnson
ISBN : 0140283579
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 27.1 MB
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Jack Kerouac. Allen Ginsberg. William S. Burroughs. LeRoi Jones. Theirs are the names primarily associated with the Beat Generation. But what about Joyce Johnson (nee Glassman), Edie Parker, Elise Cowen, Diane Di Prima, and dozens of others? These female friends and lovers of the famous iconoclasts are now beginning to be recognized for their own roles in forging the Beat movement and for their daring attempts to live as freely as did the men in their circle a decade before Women's Liberation. Twenty-one-year-old Joyce Johnson, an aspiring novelist and a secretary at a New York literary agency, fell in love with Jack Kerouac on a blind date arranged by Allen Ginsberg nine months before the publication of On the Road made Kerouac an instant celebrity. While Kerouac traveled to Tangiers, San Francisco, and Mexico City, Johnson roamed the streets of the East Village, where she found herself in the midst of the cultural revolution the Beats had created. Minor Characters portrays the turbulent years of her relationship with Kerouac with extraordinary wit and love and a cool, critical eye, introducing the reader to a lesser known but purely original American voice: her own.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Minor Characters

Author : Joyce Johnson
ISBN : 0413777154
Genre : Authors, American
File Size : 88.75 MB
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A Beat Memoir. Astonishing insider account of the Beat generation by Jack Kerouacs lover and probably the best book ever written about the Beats.
Category: Authors, American

Missing Men

Author : Joyce Johnson
ISBN : 0143035231
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 82.45 MB
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A new memoir by the author of Minor Characters provides a unique female perspective on the dramatic implications of growing up fatherless, from her birth, childhood, and youth without a male figure in her life, through her unsuccessful marriages to two fatherless artists, to her adventures as a stage child managed by her mother, to own evolution into an artist in her own right. Reprint.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Voice Is All

Author : Joyce Johnson
ISBN : 9780143123965
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 84.93 MB
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The National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Minor Characters presents a profile of the iconic artist's early years that offers insight into his efforts to bridge his dual cultural heritage while exploring how his French Canadian background enriched his prose, discussing the breakthroughs that inspired such works as On the Road and Visions of Cody.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Door Wide Open

Author : Jack Kerouac
ISBN : 0141001879
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 33.20 MB
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A collection of poignant love letters between Jack Kerouac and Joyce Glassman reveals a tender, loving side to a writer famous for his rough exterior and moody ways. Reprint.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

How I Became Hettie Jones

Author : Hettie Jones
ISBN : 9780802196781
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 53.34 MB
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“A thoughtful, intimate memoir of life in the burgeoning movement of new jazz, poetry, and politics . . . in Lower Manhattan in the late 1950s and early 1960s” (Alix Kate Shulman, The Nation). Greenwich Village in the 1950s was a haven to which young poets, painters, and musicians flocked. Among them was Hettie Cohen, who’d been born into a middle-class Jewish family in Queens and who’d chosen to cross racial barriers to marry African American poet LeRoi Jones. This is her reminiscence of life in the awakening East Village in the era of the Beats, Black Power, and bohemia. “As the wife of controversial black playwright-poet LeRoi Jones (now Amiri Baraka), Hettie Cohen, a white Jew from Queens, NY, plunged into the Greenwich Village bohemia of jazz, poetry, leftish politics and underground publishing in the late 1950s. Their life together ended in 1965, partly, she implies, because of separatist pressures on blacks to end their interracial marriages. In this restrained autobiographical mix of introspection and gossip, the author writes of coping with racial prejudice and violence, raising two daughters, and of living in the shadow of her husband. When the couple divorced, she became a children’s book author and poet. The memoir is dotted with glimpses of Allen Ginsberg, Thelonious Monk, Jack Kerouac, Frank O’Hara, Billie Holiday, James Baldwin, Franz Kline, among others.” —Publishers Weekly
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Awakener

Author : Helen Weaver
ISBN : 9780872866447
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 41.49 MB
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The Awakener is Helen Weaver's long awaited memoir of her adventures with Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lenny Bruce, and other wild characters from the New York City of the fifties and sixties. The sheltered but rebellious daughter of bookish Midwestern parents, Weaver survived a repressive upbringing in the wealthy suburbs of Scarsdale and an early divorce to land in Greenwich Village just in time for the birth of rock 'n' roll—and the counterculture movement known as the Beat Generation. Shortly after her arrival Kerouac, Ginsberg, and company—old friends of her roommate—arrive on their doorstep after a non-stop drive from Mexico. Weaver and Kerouac fall in love on sight, and Kerouac moves in. "…[Weaver] paints a romantic picture of Greenwich Village in the 1950s and '60s, when she worked in publishing and hung out with Allen Ginsberg and the poet Richard Howard and was wild and loose, getting high and falling into bed almost immediately with her crushes, including Lenny Bruce…Her descriptions of the Village are evocative, recalling a time when she wore 'long skirts, Capezio ballet shoes and black stockings,' and used to 'sit in the Bagatelle and have sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist of lemon.' Early on, she quotes Pasternak: 'You in others: this is your soul.' Kerouac's soul lives on through many people—Joyce Johnson, for one—but few have been as adept as Weaver at capturing both him and the New York bohemia of the time. He was lucky to have met her."—Tara McKelvey, The New York Times Book Review “There is a tendency for memoirs written by women about The Great Man to be self-abnegating exercises in a kind of inverted narcissism—the author seeking to prove her worth as muse, as consort, as chosen one. Not so with Helen Weaver’s beautiful, plainspoken elegy for her time spent with Jack Kerouac, who suddenly appeared at her door in the West Village one white, frosty morning with Allen Ginsberg, who knew Weaver’s roommate, in tow."—New York Post "Helen Weaver’s book was a revelation to me!…This is the most graphic, honest, shameless, and moving documentary of what the newly liberated women in cities got up to—how they lived, loved, and created. Who knew? It is time they did! And here’s how."—Carolyn Cassady "Weaver recreates the excitement of a time when things were radically changing and shows us what it was like living with an eccentric genius at the turning point of his life. Eventually she asks Jack to leave but they remain friends, and over the years her respect for his writing grows even as Kerouac's reputation undergoes a gradual transition from enfant terrible to American icon. She comes to realize that by writing On the Road he woke America up—along with her—from the long dream of the fifties. And the Buddhist philosophy that once struck her as Jack's excuse for doing whatever he liked because 'nothing is real, it's all a dream' eventually becomes her own." "Helen Weaver's memoir is a riveting account of her love affair and friendship with Jack Kerouac. She is both clear-eyed and passionate about him, and writes with truly amazing grace."—Ann Charters Helen Weaver has translated over fifty books from the French of which one, Antonin Artaud: Selected Writings (Farrar, Straus and Giroux ) was a Finalist for the National Book Award in translation in 1976. She is co-author and general editor of the Larousse Enyclopedia of Astrology and author of The Daisy Sutra, a book on animal communication. She lives in Kingston, New York.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Girls Who Wore Black

Author : Ronna Johnson
ISBN : 0813530652
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 41.49 MB
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"Girls Who Wore Black recovers neglected women writers who deserve more attention for their writing and for their historical role in the mid-century arts scene. This collection of essays reopens and revises the Beat canon, Beat history, and Beat poetics; it is an important contribution to literary criticism and history."-Jennie Skerl, author of A Tawdry Place of Salvation: The Art of Jane Bowles "Ronna Johnson and Nancy Grace have done an invaluable service for students of American literature: their collection begins with an essential essay about the three generations of Beat women and then provides fine contributions by critics Anthony Libby, Linda Russo, Maria Damon, Tim Hunt, and others. The value of this book is so clear one must wonder why it wasn't available much earlier."-Linda Wagner-Martin, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill What do we know about the women who played an important role in creating the literature of the Beat Generation? Until recently, very little. Studies of the movement have effaced or excluded women writers, such as Elise Cowen, Joyce Johnson, Joanne Kyger, Hettie Jones, and Diane Di Prima, each one a significant figure of the postwar Beat communities. Equally free-thinking and innovative as the founding generation of men, women writers, fluent in Beat, hippie, and women's movement idioms, partook of and bridged two important countercultures of the American mid-century. Persistently foregrounding female experiences in the cold war 1950s and in the counterculture 1960s and in every decade up to the millennium, women writing Beat have brought nonconformity, skepticism, and gender dissent to postmodern culture and literary production in the United States and beyond. Ronna C. Johnson is a lecturer in the departments of English and American Studies at Tufts University. Nancy M. Grace is an associate professor in the department of English and director of the Program in Writing at The College of Wooster in Ohio. She is the author of The Feminized Male Character in Twentieth-Century Literature.
Category: Literary Criticism

Off The Road

Author : Carolyn Cassady
ISBN : 9781468305715
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 34.20 MB
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Off the Road tells the intimate story of the legendary Neal Cassady and his remarkable friendships with Jack Kerouac (who immortalized Cassady as Dean Moriarty in On the Road) and Allen Ginsberg. Written by the woman who loved them all--as wife of Cassady, lover of Kerouac, and friend of Ginsberg--this riveting and intimate memoir spans one of the most vital eras in twentieth-century literature and culture, including the explosive successes of Kerouac's On the Road and Ginsberg's Howl, the flowering of the Beat movement, and the social revolution of the 1960s. Carolyn Cassady reveals a side of Neal Cassady rarely seen-that of husband and father, a man who craved respectability, yet could not resist the thrills of a wilder and ultimately more destructive lifestyle.
Category: Biography & Autobiography