Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1922. In 1947, enthused by bebop, the rebel attitude of his friend Neal Cassidy, and the throng of hobos, drug addicts and hustlers he encountered in New York, he decided to discover America and hitchhhike across the country. His writing was openly autobiographical and he developed a style he referred to as 'spontaneous prose' which he used to record the experiences of the Beat Generation. Among his many novels are On the Road, Maggie Cassidy, The Subterraneans, The Dharma Bums and Big Sur. He died in 1969.
These are works by women who are great in their own right (and some who aren't), who loved and put up with the men who came to be known as the Beats. It is a valuable anthology of overlooked authors; the material is particularly pleasing since many of the authors read their own material. Ruth Weiss not only contributes poems and narration but also provides cool jazz to make the presentation a complete listening experience. Debra Winger does an excellent job with her portion of the narration. While there are a few less-than-scintillating pieces here (e.g., with comments of such ilk as "I slept with so-and-so and it was such an honor), the gems outweigh the dross. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.‘Reilly Reagan, Putnam Cty. Lib., Cookeville, Tenn.