Standalone Novels In Publication Order
- The Sea Is My Brother (1942)
- And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks (With: ) (1945)
- The Town and the City (1950)
- On the Road (1957)
- The Subterraneans (1958)
- The Dharma Bums (1958)
- Dr. Sax (1959)
- Maggie Cassidy (1959)
- Book of Dreams (1960)
- Visions of Cody (1960)
- Lonesome Traveler (1960)
- Big Sur (1962)
- Desolation Angels (1965)
- Vanity of Duluoz (1967)
- Orpheus Emerged (2002)
Short Stories/Novellas In Publication Order
- Tristessa (1960)
- Visions of Gerard (1963)
- Satori in Paris (1966)
- Pic (1971)
Collections In Publication Order
- Book of Sketches (1957)
- Mexico City Blues (1959)
- The Scripture of the Golden Eternity (1960)
- Scattered Poems (1971)
- Collected Poems (1971)
- Old Angel Midnight (1973)
- Trip Trap (1973)
- Heaven and Other Poems (1977)
- Atop an Underwood (1987)
- San Francisco Blues (1991)
- Pomes All Sizes (1992)
- Book of Blues (1995)
- Some of the Dharma (1997)
- Book of Haikus (2003)
- The Haunted Life (2014)
- The Unknown Kerouac (2016)
Non-Fiction Books In Publication Order
- Windblown World (1947)
- Dear Carolyn (1983)
- Beat Generation (1992)
- Good Blonde & Others (1993)
- Selected Letters, 1940-1956 (1995)
- Selected Letters, 1957-1969 (1999)
- Door Wide Open (2000)
- Departed Angels (2004)
- Wake Up (2008)
- Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters (2010)
- Piers of the Homeless Night (2018)
Anthologies In Publication Order
- Field of Fantasies: Baseball Stories of the Strange and Supernatural (2014)
Standalone Novels Book Covers
Short Stories/Novellas Book Covers
Collections Book Covers
Non-Fiction Book Covers
Anthologies Book Covers
Jack Kerouac Books Overview
In the spring of 1943, during a stint in the Merchant Marine, twenty one year old Jack Kerouac set out to write his first novel. Working diligently day and night to complete it by hand, he titled it The Sea Is My Brother. Now, nearly seventy years later, its long awaited publication provides fascinating details and insight into the early life and development of an American literary icon. Written seven years before The Town and The City officially launched his writing career, The Sea Is My Brother marks a pivotal point in which Kerouac began laying the foundations for his pioneering method and signature style. A clear precursor to such landmark works as On the Road, The Dharma Bums, and Visions of Cody, it is an important formative work that bears all the hallmarks of classic Kerouac: the search for spiritual meaning in a materialistic world, spontaneous travel as the true road to freedom, late nights in bars and apartments engaged in intense conversation, the desperate urge to escape from society, and the strange, terrible beauty of loneliness.
More than sixty years ago, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac sat down inNew York City to write a novel about the summer of 1944, when one of their friends killed another in a moment of brutal and tragic bloodshed. The two authors were then at the dawn of their careers, having yet to write anything of note. Alternating chapters and narrators, Burroughs and Kerouac pieced together a hard boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and obsession, art and violence. The manuscript, called And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks after a line from a news story about a fire at a circus, was submitted to publishers but rejected and confined to a filing cabinet for decades. This legendary collaboration between two of the twentieth centuries most influential writers is set to be published for the first time in the fall of 2008. A remarkable, fascinating piece of American literary history, And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks is also an engrossing, atmospheric novel that brings to life a shocking murder at the dawn of the Beat Generation.
‘It is the sum of myself, as far as the written word can go’ – Kerouac on ‘The Town and the City‘. Kerouac’s debut novel is a great coming of age story which can be read as the essential prelude to his later classics. Inspired by grief over his father’s death and gripped by determination to write the Great American Novel, he draws largely on his own New England childhood.
The legendary 1951 scroll draft of On the Road, published as Kerouac originally composed itIN THREE WEEKS in April of 1951, Jack Kerouac wrote his first full draft of On the Road typed as a single spaced paragraph on eight long sheets of tracing paper, which he later taped together to form a 120 foot scroll. A major literary event when it was published in Viking hardcover in 2007, this is the uncut version of an American classic rougher, wilder, and more provocative than the official work that appeared, heavily edited, in 1957. This version, capturing a moment in creative history, represents the first full expression of Kerouac’s revolutionary aesthetic.
Written over the course of three days and three nights, The Subterraneans was generated out of the same ecstatic flash of inspiration that produced another one of Kerouac’s early classic, On The Road. Centering on the tempestous breakup of Leo Percepied and Mardou Fox two denizens of the 1950s San Francsico underground The Subterraneans is a tale of dark alleys and dark rooms,of artists, of visionaries,
A deluxe edition of Kerouac?s masterpiece on the 50th anniversary of its first publicationFirst published in 1958, a year after On the Road had put the Beat generation on the map, The Dharma Bums stands as one of Jack Kerouac?s most powerful, influential, and bestselling novels. The story focuses on two untrammeled young Americans?mountaineer, poet, and Zen Buddhist Japhy Ryder and Ray Smith, a zestful, innocent writer?whose quest for Truth leads them on a heroic odyssey, from marathon parties and poetry jam sessions in San Francisco?s Bohemia to solitude and mountain climbing in the High Sierras to Ray?s sixty day vigil by himself atop Desolation Peak in Washington State. Primary to this evocative and soulful novel is an honest, exuberant search for an affirmative way of life in the midst of the atomic age. In many ways, The Dharma Bums also presaged the environmental, back to the land, and American Buddhist movements of the 1960s and beyond.
In this haunting novel of intensely felt adolescence, Jack Kerouac tells the story of Jack Duluoz, a French Canadian boy growing up, as Kerouac himself did, in the dingy factory town of Lowell, Massachusetts. Dr. Sax, with his flowing cape, slouch hat, and insinuating leer, is chief among the many ghosts and demons that populate Jack’s fantasy world. Deftly mingling memory and dream, Kerouac captures the accents and texture of his boyhood in Lowell as he relates Jack’s adventures with this cryptic, apocalyptic hipster phantom. ‘Kerouac dreams of America in the authentic rolling rhythms of a Whitman or a Thomas Wolfe, drunk with eagerness for life.’ John K. Hutchens; ‘Kerouac’s peculiar genius infects every page.’ The New York Times.
Written in 1953, published in 1959 after the 1957 publication of Kerouac’s On the Road made him famous overnight and long out of print, this touching novel of adolescent love in a New England mill town is one of Kerouac’s most accessible works.
‘In the Book of Dreams I just continue the same story but in the dreams I had of the real life characters I always write about.’ Excerpt: WALKING THROUGH SLUM SUBURBS of Mexico City I’m stopped by smiling threesome of cats who’ve disengaged themselves from the general fairly crowded evening street of brown lights, coke stands, tortillas Unmistakably going to steal my bag I struggled a little, gave up Begin communicating with them my distress and in fact do so well they end up just stealing parts of my stuff . We walk off leaving the bag with someone arm in arm like a gang to the downtown lights of Letran, across a field Jack Kerouac 1922 1969 was a principal actor in the Beat Generation, a companion of Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady in that great adventure. His books include On the Roa, The Dharma Bums, Mexico City Blues, Lonesome Traveler, Scattered Poems, Visions of Cody, Pomes All Sizes, and Scripture of the Golden Eternity.
Kerouac’s most radical experiment in language and storytelling is Visions of Cody, an ‘enormous paean’ to that singular and influential figure Neal Cassady. A fusion of radical improvisation, bold reportate, and oracular voice, it is his ultimate version of the On the Road story. 2 cassettes.
As he roams the US, Mexico, Morocco, Paris and London, Kerouac records life on the road in prose of pure poetry. Standing on the engine of a train as it rushes past fields of prickly cactus; witnessing his first bullfight in Mexico while high on opium; meditating on a sunlit roof in Tangiers or falling in love with Montmartre Kerouac reveals both the endless diversity of human life and his own particular philosophy of self fulfillment.
Coming down from his carefree youth and unwanted fame, Jack Kerouac undertakes a mature confrontation of some of his most troubling emotional issues: a burgeoning problem with alcoholism, addiction, fear, and insecurity. He dutifully records his ever changing states of consciousness, which culminate in a powerful religious experience. Big Sur was written some time after Jack Kerouac’s best known works, following a visit to northern California and the first feelings of midlife crisis. Kerouac stayed for several weeks in a cabin in Big Sur, California, and with friends in San Francisco. Upon returning home, he wrote this account in a two week period. Critic Richard Meltzer referred to Big Sur as Kerouac’s ‘masterpiece, and one of the great, great works of the English language.’
The classic retelling of Kerouac’s last big road trip. Kerouac’s candid and definitive insider’s record of the key figures and events surrounding the Beat Generation, ‘Desolation Angels‘ had gained a reputation as an underground classic long before publication in 1964. Told through the character of Kerouac’s fictional alter ego, Jack Duluoz, the novel follows the story of his last legendary road trip, accompanied by his thinly disguised Beat counterparts, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and William Burroughs. From California to Mexico and on to opium ridden Tangiers, Kerouac chronicles the frenetic parties, the drink and the drugs, the poetry and the mountain vigils with unsurpassable energy.
Originally subtitled ‘An Adventurous Education, 1935 1946,’ this book is a key volume in Kerouac’s lifework, the series of autobiographical novels he referred to as The Legend of Duluoz. A wonderfully unassuming look back at the origins of his career a prehistory of the Beat era, written from the perspective of the psychedelic ’60s.
Part illustrated biography, part comics adaptation, R. CRUMB’S KAFKA is a vibrant biography that examines this Czech writer and his works in a way that a bland texbook never could! R. CRUMB’S KAFKA goes far beyond being explication or popularization or survey. It’s a work of art in its own right, a very rare example of what happens when one very idiosyncratic artist absorbs another into his worldview without obliterating the individuality of the absorbed one. Crumb’s art is filled with Kafka’s insurmountable neuroses. They are all there: Gregor Samsa’s sister, the luscious Milena Jesenska, the Advacate’s ‘nurse’ Leni, Olda and Frieda, and the ravishing Dora Diamant drawn in that mixture of self command, tantalizing knowingness, and sly sexuality, that amazonian randines and thick limbed physicality that is Crumb…
Crumb’s idiosyncratic illustrations add a new dimension to the already idiosyncratic world of Kafka. Includes adaptations of ‘The Judgment,’ ‘The Trial,’ ‘The Castle,’ ‘A Hunger Artist,’ and ‘The Metamorphosis.’
Satori in Paris and Pic, two of Jack Kerouac’s last novels, showcase the remarkable range and versatility of his mature talent. Satori in Paris is a rollicking autobiographical account of Kerouac’s search for his heritage in France, and lands the author in his familiar milieu of seedy bars and all night conversations. Pic is Kerouac’s final novel and one of his most unusual. Narrated by ten year old Pictorial Review Jackson in a North Carolina vernacular, the novel charts the adventures of Pic and his brother Slim as they travel from the rural South to Harlem in the 1940s.
A never before published book of poems by Jack Kerouac in a deluxe package In 1952 and 1953 as he wandered around America, Jack Kerouac jotted down spontaneous prose poems, or sketches as he called them, on small notebooks that he kept in his shirt pockets. The poems recount his travels New York, North Carolina, Lowell Massachusetts, Kerouac’s birthplace, San Francisco, Denver, Kansas, Mexico observations, and meditations on art and life. The poems are often strung together so that over the course of several of them, a little story or travelogue appears, complete in itself. Published for the first time, Book of Sketches offers a luminous, intimate, and transcendental glimpse of one of the most original voices of the twentieth century at a key time in his literary and spiritual development.
Jack Kerouac, who died in 1969 at the age of forty seven, is renowned as the father of the ‘beat generation.’ His eighteen internationally acclaimed books including ‘On the Road, Doctor Sax, The Subterraneans, ‘ and ‘Lonesome Traveler’ were important signpost in a new American literature. Here, in ‘Mexico City Blues, ‘ his only collection of poetry, his voice is as distinctive as in his prose; it roams widely across continents and cultures in a restless search for meaning and expression, giving the verse the unique qualities found in America’s most distinctive contribution to music.
These classic Kerouac meditations, zen koans, and prose poems express the poet’s beatific quest for peace and joy through oneness with the universe.
Spontaneous poetry by the author of On the Road, gathered from underground and ephemeral publications; including San Francisco Blues, the variant texts of Pull My Daisy, and American haiku. HERE DOWN ON DARK EARTH before we all go to Heaven VISIONS OF AMERICA All that hitchhikin All that railroadin All that comin back to America Jack Kerouac
Renowned ‘Beat Generation’ poet and author Jack Kerouac says of Old Angel Midnight, ‘it is only the beginning of a lifelong work in multilingual sound…
of babbling world tongues coming in thru my window at midnight no matter where I live or what I’m doing…
. And it is the only book I’ve ever written in which I allow myself the right to say anything I want, absolutely and positively anything, since that’s what you hear coming in that window…
This newly revised edition originally published in 1973 of the haiku Jack Kerouac, Albert Saijo, and Lew Welch jotted down on the road from San Francisco to New York in 1959, are dense, earthy incarnations of life on the road: ‘A coral colored Cadillac/ in Texas/ Threw gravel all over us,/ our beat jeep/ Our windshield is nicked/ but our eyes/ are/ CLEAR…
‘ Albert recounts their November trip in Lew’s Jeepster, making the big city scene, visiting Jack’s home in Northport on Long Island, and the long drive back west. The book also includes letters to Kerouac from Lew Welch in Reno.
A powerful insight into the making of a free spirit and literary pioneerBefore Jack Kerouac defined a generation with his 1957 classic On the Road and became one of the most prolific voices of Beat culture, he was learning how to live, and above all, how to write. Atop an Underwood brings together more than sixty previously unpublished early works which Kerouac wrote between the ages of thirteen and twenty one, ranging from stories and poems to plays and parts of early novels, including an excerpt from his 1943 merchant marine novel, The Sea is My Brother. Readers, scholars, and critics will find in this book a fascinating missing link in Kerouac’s development as a writer. His lifelong themes of America, adventurous travel, spiritual questing, work, family, and sports show their first sign of life in Atop an Underwood. The writings reveal what Kerouac was thinking, doing, and dreaming during his formative years and reflect his early literary influences; readers will also find here the source of his spontaneous prose. In the first words that he ever wrote, Kerouac proves that he was born with a passion for words and for living.
The original manuscript of this book, written between 1954 and 1965, has been in the safekeeping of City Lights all the years since Kerouac’s death in 1969. Reaching beyond the scope of his Mexico City Blues, here are pomes about Mexico and Tangier, Berkeley and the Bowery. Mid fifties road poems, hymns and songs of God, drug poems, wine poems, dharma poems and Buddhist meditations. Poems to Beat friends, goofball poems, quirky haiku, and a fine, long elegy in Canuckian Child Patoi Probably Medieval…
an English blues. But more than a quarter of a century after it was written, Pomes of All Sizes today would seem to be more than a sum of it parts, revealing a questing Kerouac grown beyond the popular image of himself as a Beat on the Road.
Best known for his ‘Legend of Duluoz’ novels, including On the Road and The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac is also an important poet. In these eight extended poems, Kerouac writes from the heart of experience in the music of language, employing the same instrumental blues form that he used to fullest effect in Mexico City Blues, his largely unheralded classic of postmodern literature. Edited by Kerouac himself, Book of Blues is an exuberant foray into language and consciousness, rich with imagery, propelled by rythm, and based in a reverent attentiveness to the moment. ‘In my system, the form of blues choruses is limited by the small page of the breastpocket notebook in which they are written, like the form of a set number of bars in a jazz blues chorus, and so sometimes the word meaning can carry from one chorus into another, or not, just like the phrase meaning can carry harmonically from one chorus to the other, or not, in jazz, so that, in these blues as in jazz, the form is determined by time, and by the musicians spontaneous phrasing & harmonizing with the beat of time as it waves & waves on by in measured choruses.’ Jack Kerouac
A previously unpublished volume by Jack Kerouac offers a collage of poems, haiku, journal entries, letters, meditations, ideas on writing, notes on Buddhism, prayers, blues, sketches, and more.’
Above all, a haiku must be very simple and free of all poetic trickery and make a little picture and yet be as airy and graceful as a Vivaldi pastorella.’ Jack Kerouac. Renowned for his groundbreaking Beat Generation novel ‘On the Road’, Jack Kerouac was also a master of the haiku, the three line, seventeen syllable Japanese poetic form. Following in the tradition of Basho, Buson, Shiki, Issa, and other poets, Kerouac experimented with this centuries old genre, taking it beyond strict syllable counts into what he believed was the form’s essence. He incorporated his ‘American’ haiku in novels and in his correspondence, notebooks, journals, sketchbooks, and recordings. In this edition, Kerouac scholar Regina Weinreich has supplemented a core haiku manuscript from Kerouac’s archives with a generous selection of the rest of his haiku, from both published and unpublished sources. The result is a compact collection of more than five hundred poems that reveal a lesser known but important side of Jack Kerouac’s literary legacy.
Jack Kerouac is best known through the image he put forth in his autobiographical novels. Yet it is only his private journals, in which he set down the raw material of his life and thinking, that reveal to us the real Kerouac. In Windblown World, distinguished Americanist Douglas Brinkley has gathered a selection of journal entries from the most pivotal period of Kerouac’s life, 1947 to 1954. Here is Kerouac as a hungry young writer finishing his first novel while forging crucial friendships with Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Neal Cassady. Truly a self portrait of the artist as a young man, this unique and indispensable volume is sure to become an integral element of the Beat oeuvre.
Beat Generation is a play about tension, about friendship, and about karma what it is and how you get it. It begins one fine morning with a few friends, honest laborers some of them, some close to being down and out, passing around a bottle of wine. It ends with a kind of satori like reaffirmation of the power of friendship, of doing good through not doing, and the intrinsic worth of the throwaway little exchanges that make up our lives.
Written in 1957, the same year that On the Road was first published, and set in 1953, Beat Generation portrays an authentic and alternate 1950s America. Kerouac’s characters are working class men and women a step away from vagrants, but not a big step. Their dialogue positively sings, suggesting jazz riffs in their rhythm and content, and Kerouac, like a master composer, arranges it to magical effect. Here is the heart and soul of the beat mentality, the zeitgeist that blossomed over the decades and eventually culminated in the counter culture of 1960s America. It’s a spirit that still lives.
In these uncollected writings Jack Kerouac portrays himself in his life. He hitches a ride to San Francisco with a blonde, goes on the road with photographer Robert Frank, rides bus through the Northwest and Montana, records the blues of an old Negro hobo, talks about the Beats and how it all began, gives his ‘Essentials of Spontaneous Prose’ and defends his novel The Subterraneans, compares Shakespeare and James Joyce, describes the cafeterias and subways of Manhattan, goes to a ballgame and a prize fight, and reflects on Christmas in New England, on Murnau’s Nosferatu, on jazz & bop, and tells us what he’s thinking about. Table of Contents Walking to EdenOptical TerrorThe Impossible GenusOn Returning from ChiapasAlphabets and EmperorsOptical PleasureHaunting by WaterMapping ParisThe Monstrous and the MarvelousThe Death Cu*nt of Deep DellSortilegeBooks of NatureA DreamManifesto in VoicesAcknowledgmentsBibliography
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.
The first volume of Jack Kerouac’s selected letters, published in 1995, was hailed as an important and revealing addition to Kerouac scholarship. This second and final volume of letters, written between 1957, the year On the Road was published, to one day before his death in 1969 at age forty seven, tell Kerouac’s life story through his candid correspondence with friends, confidants, and editors among them Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Philip Whalen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Joyce Johnson, and Malcolm Cowley. Documenting his continuing development as a writer, his travels, love affairs, and complicated family life, the letters also reveal Kerouac’s amazing courage in the face of criticism and his never ending quest to be the best writer possible.
Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters 1957 1969 offers unparalleled insight into the life and mind of this giant of the American literary landscape.
On a blind date in Greenwich Village set up by Allen Ginsberg, Joyce Johnson then Joyce Glassman met Jack Kerouac in January 1957, nine months before he became famous overnight with the publication of On the Road. She was an adventurous, independent minded twenty one year old; Kerouac was already running on empty at thirty five. This unique book, containing the many letters the two of them wrote to each other, reveals a surprisingly tender side of Kerouac. It also shares the vivid and unusual perspective of what it meant to be young, Beat, and a woman in the Cold War fifties. Reflecting on those tumultuous years, Johnson seamlessly interweaves letters and commentary, bringing to life her love affair with one of American letters’ most fascinating and enigmatic figures.
This first ever collection of Jack Kerouac’s visual art includes nearly every existing full color painting collected and preserved by the Kerouac estate in Lowell, Massachusetts. Also included are dozens of black and white line drawings, sketches, and facsimile reproductions of Kerouac’s notations from his unpublished notebooks. In writing, Kerouac’s restless and relentless experimentation what he called ‘spontaneous bop prosody’ pushed language to the boundaries of meaning. In painting and drawing he found a complementary means of expression. A friend and admirer of painters Willem de Kooning, Larry Rivers, Franz Kline, and Dody Muller, Kerouac was an ardent and deliberate student who worked to develop and refine his skills and his conception of the act of painting a conception related to the spontaneous composition he had pioneered in his books. Ed Adler’s essay offers an unprecedented view of Kerouac, the visual artist. Rich in anecdote and drawing on extensive quotation from Kerouac’s letters, notebooks, and published writings, Adler’s essay demonstrates the biographical and thematic preoccupations common to Kerouac’s writing and painting, especially Kerouac’s struggle to integrate the two spiritual traditions, Catholicism and Buddhism, to which he was devoted. No consideration of Kerouac will be complete without reference to this heretofor unseen aspect of his life and work.
An account of the life of the Buddha by the author of On the Road
Though raised Catholic, in the early 1950s Jack Kerouac became fascinated with Buddhism, an interest that would have a profound impact on his ideas of spirituality and their expression in his writing from Mexico City Blues to The Dharma Bums. Published for the first time in book form, Wake Up is Kerouac’s retelling of the story of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who as a young man abandoned his wealthy family and comfortable home for a lifelong search for Enlightenment. As a compendium of the teachings of the Buddha, Wake Up is a profound meditation on the nature of life, desire, wisdom, and suffering. Distilled from a wide variety of canonical scriptures, Wake Up serves as both a concise primer on the concepts of Buddhism and as an insightful and deeply personal document of Kerouac s evolving beliefs. It is the work of a devoted spiritual follower of the Buddha who also happened to be one of the twentieth century s most influential novelists. Wake Up: A Life of the Buddha will be essential reading for the legions of Jack Kerouac fans and for anyone who is curious about the spiritual principles of one of the world s great religions.
The first collection of letters between the two leading figures of the Beat movement Writers and cultural icons Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg are the most celebrated names of the Beat Generation, linked together not only by their shared artistic sensibility but also by a deep and abiding friend ship, one that colored their lives and greatly influenced their writing. Editors Bill Morgan and David Stanford shed new light on this intimate and influential friendship in this fascinating exchange of letters between Kerouac and Ginsberg, two thirds of which have never been published before. 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. Vivid, engaging, and enthralling, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters provides an unparalleled portrait of the two men who led the cultural and artistic movement that defined their generation.