Selected letters, 1940-1956

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Penguin Books, Mar 1, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 629 pages
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The life and craft of Jack Kerouac are traced through some of his most personal and mesmerizing letters. Written between 1940, when he was a freshman in college, and 1956, immediately before his leap into celebrity with the publication of On the Road, these letters offer valuable insights into Kerouac's family life, friendships with Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs, and others.

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Selected letters: 1940-1956

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These letters, addressed to the likes of William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and publisher Robert Giroux, take Kerouac from his early years up to the publication of On the Road. Published in conjunction with The Portable Kerouac (ISBN 0-670-84957-X. $27). Read full review

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About the author (1996)

Jack Kerouac's (1922-1969) "On the Road" was published in 1957, six years after its completion. It went on to become a bestseller and is considered the quintessential statement of the 1950's literary movement known as the Beat Generation. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, Kerouac did stints at Columbia University, in the Navy and in the Merchant Marine before meeting Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Neal Cassady, who would influence the rest of his life and his writing. Kerouac died in St. Petersburg, Florida at the age of forty-seven.

Ann Charters received her B.A. at Berkeley and her Ph.D. at Columbia. She first met Kerouac at a poetry reading in Berkeley in 1956, and compiled a comprehensive bibliography of his work in 1967. A professor of English at the University of Connecticut, she is also the editor of "Selected Letters of Jack Kerouac" and the "Portable Kerouac Reader,"" "and the author of "Beats and Company: Portrait of a Literary Generation,"

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