Minor Characters

£8.99

Joyce Johnson

21/06/2012 | Paperback |

ISBN: 9780413777157

About Minor Characters

 

'The best book ever written about the Beats'

Washington Post

 

Minor Characters is Joyce Johnson's memoir of her love affair with Jack Kerouac and her intimate association with others prominent in the Beat Generation: the extraordinary circle that included Allen Ginsberg, LeRoi and Hettie Jones, Gregory Corso, Robert Frank, Willem de Kooning and Frank Kline. She was living with Kerouac when On the Road – the novel that seemed to encapsulate the spirit of the Beats – was first published, turning him into a uncomfortable overnight celebrity.

 

Johnson's book is a personal memoir and a summation of the times, a story of adolescent rebellion and a desire to choose a different life. She shows how the Beat women, in deciding to break the rules and leave home as unmarried young women in the 1950s, discovered the risks and the heady excitement of trying to live as freely as the rebels they loved.

 

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award on its first publication in 1983, Minor Characters is an intelligent, insightful and sympathetic portrayal of the individuals who defined the 'Beat Generation' and a personal reflection on the hardship and elation of an extraordinary woman's liberation.

Author(s)
 

Joyce Johnson

Joyce Johnson was born in New York in 1935. Minor Characters describes her relationship with Jack Kerouac (1922-69). Johnson's fiction and other writing has appeared in numerous magazines and since the early eighties she has taught writing.


Reviews
 

 

'The best book ever written about the Beats'

The Washington Post

 

 

'This is the muses's side of the story. It turns out that the muse could write as well as anybody'

Angela Carter

 

 

'Minor Characters is an avowedly nostalgic portrait that captures the excitement, the strangeness and the often mis-directed and destructive energy of those lost days'

Philadelphia Inquirer

 

 

'Realistic rather than flamboyant, [Johnson] succeeds in portraying the Beats not as oddities or celebrities but as individuals'

The New Yorker

 

 

'Rich and beautifully written, full of vivid portraits and evocations...of the major beat voices and the minor characters, their women'

San Francisco Chronicle


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