Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir

Paperback | July 15, 1999

byJoyce JohnsonIntroduction byAnn Douglas

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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.

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From Our Editors

When you think of the beat generation, you probably think of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. But what about the women who helped shape the beat movement? Minor Characters looks at the female friends and lovers of the men who made beat a buzzword. We learn about their contributions in shaping the movement and how ...

From the Publisher

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 fo...

Joyce Johnson is the author of three novels, including The Night Café. Her other books include Minor Characters, which was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Door Wide Open: A Beat Love Affair in Letters, 1957–1958.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 7.77 × 5.08 × 0.62 inPublished:July 15, 1999Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140283579

ISBN - 13:9780140283570

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From Our Editors

When you think of the beat generation, you probably think of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. But what about the women who helped shape the beat movement? Minor Characters looks at the female friends and lovers of the men who made beat a buzzword. We learn about their contributions in shaping the movement and how they chose to live more freely a decade before the 1960s Women's Liberation Movement.