Jack's book - Barry Gifford



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Jack's book - an oral biography of Jack Kerouac
Barry Gifford
Paperback / softback
UK Publication Date

'Jack Kerouac died in 1969 at the age of forty-seven . . . Most of his friends survived him. Our idea was to seek them out and talk with them about Jack's life and their own lives. The final result, we hoped, would be a big, transcontinental conversation, complete with interruptions, contradictions, old grudges and bright memories, all of them providing a reading of the man himself through the people he chose to populate his work.'

In this kaleidoscopic portrait of Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Carolyn Cassady, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Gore Vidal and many others talk, argue and reminisce about their times with him. But alongside these luminaries of the Beat generation are the voices of those who knew a different side of Kerouac: the working men, the childhood friends, the bar companions, the lovers.
Fascinating, honest and richer than any orthodox biography could be, Jack's Book documents Kerouac's genius in its full, tragic, contradictory glory.

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Barry Gifford's fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have been published in twenty-eight languages. His novel, Night People was awarded the Premio Brancati, established by Pier Paolo Pasolini and Alberto Moravia, in Italy, and he has been the recipient of awards from PEN, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Library Association, the Writers Guild of America, and the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. Gifford's work has appeared in many publications, including the New Yorker, Punch, Esquire, La Nouvelle Revue Franaise, El Pais, La Republica, Rolling Stone, Brick, Film Comment, El Universal, Projections, and the New York Times. His film credits include Wild at Heart, Perdita Durango, Lost Highway, City of Ghosts, Ball Lightning, and The Phantom Father. Barry Gifford's most recent books are Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels and Sad Stories of the Death of Kings. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit www.BarryGifford.com.
Lawrence Lee, a Peabody Award-winning journalist, worked for United Press International, Associated Press, and a number of television stations in San Francisco. He coauthored Saroyan: A Biography. He died in 1990.

To read Jack's Book is to be present at a gathering of Kerouac's friends, colleagues, lovers, even his (mild) enemies - of all the lives of Kerouac I have read, this one has the most life.
James Campbell

If you're interested in listening to what the talk of the Fifties sounded like, and if you believe that literature may just have something to do with life, then read this book.
National Review

Jack's Book is first rate - it offers the flavor and depth of good fiction while keeping well within the realm of literal truth.
Saturday Review

A fascinating literary and historical document, the most insightful look at the beat generation.
The Atlantic Monthly - Dan Wakefield

I suggest you read Jack's Book . . . Mr Gifford and Mr Lee seem to have interviewed everyone connected with Kerouac.
New York Times - Vincent Canby

There have been biographies of Kerouac, but this is an entirely different and much more satisfying work . . . not in a static portrait, but a slow-moving
picture of a man unfolding from childhood to heartbreak end; a drama whose focus or clarity or completeness changes depending on who's holding the camera. An engrossing tale.
Minneapolis Star

My God, it's just like Rashomon - everybody lies and the truth comes out!
Allen Ginsberg

New Edition
Keyword Index
Authors, American - 20th century - Biography.|Beat generation.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages

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