Jack Kerouac

Author: Jack Kerouac

Profile: Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac was better known as Jack Kerouac. Jack Kerouac was an American novelist and poet of French Canadian ancestry. He was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S. and died in St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S. He studied at Columbia University. He has been pioneer of the Beat, Literary Movement alongwith Allen Ginsbery and William S. Burroughs. Some of his most notable works include, On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Big Sur and Desolation Angels. Edie Parker was his spouse. Jack served in the United States Merchant Marine, during World War II during which he finished his first novel, which however would be difficult to publish after his death until over 40 years.

Jack along with other beats became an underground celebrity, a hippie movement progenitor even though he remained antagonistic towards some of its elements that were politically radical. The fact remains that he would have remained a lasting legacy and could have greatly influenced a number of cultural icons including the Beatles, Doors and Bob Dylan of the 1960s.

He was a heavy alcohol drinker and died from abdominal hemorrhage at 47 years of age in 1969. Growth in his literary prestige was seen after his death with a number of his unseen works published later. As of today, all of his books are seen in printed version.

Writing style: Jack Kerouac is well known for his writing style of spontaneous prose. His work covers thematically a range of topics include jazz, poverty, Catholic spirituality, drugs, travel, promiscuity and Buddhism.

Published Texts:

1942 – The Sea Is My Brother

1950 – The Town and the City

1957 – On the Road

1958 – The Dharma Bums

1959 – Pull My Daisy (Beat Movie)

Route 66 (1960-1964) (television series)

2008 – And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks (collaborated with William Burroughs)

Vanity of Duluoz (novel)

2008 – Wake Up: A Life of the Buddha (biography of Siddhartha Gautama) which was serialized eventually in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, 1993-1995


Studio albums

1959 – Poetry for the Beat Generation  (with Steve Allen)

1959 – Blues and Haikus (with Al Cohn and Zoot Sims)

1960 – Readings by Jack Kerouac on the Beat Generation

Compilation albums

1990 – The Jack Kerouac Collection (Audio CD collection of three studio albums)

1999 – Jack Kerouac Reads On the Road


Awards and Acknowledgements:

Jack Kerouac was posthumously awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell