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Publisher's Summary

In The Voice Is All, Joyce Johnson - coauthor of the classic memoir Door Wide Open, about her relationship with Jack Kerouac - brilliantly peels away layers of the Kerouac legend to show how, caught between two cultures and two languages, he forged a voice to contain his dualities. Looking more deeply than previous biographers into how Kerouac's French Canadian background enriched his prose and gave him a unique outsider's vision of America, she tracks his development from boyhood through the phenomenal breakthroughs of 1951 that resulted in the composition of On the Road, followed by Visions of Cody.

By illuminating Kerouac's early choice to sacrifice everything for his work, The Voice Is All deals with him on his own terms and puts the tragic contradictions of his nature and his complex relationships into perspective.

©2012 Joyce Johnson (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"This is quite simply the best book about Kerouac and one of the best accounts of any writer's apprenticeship that I have read." (Russell Banks)

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Kerouac's Voice

A clear-eyed vision of how Kerouac established his voice as a writer. Once again, Joyce Johnson, peels back the myth and breathes humanity into the lonely victory of Kerouac's success. It starts in the early days and leads up to On the Road. There's the usual glance into the Beats--the women, the drugs, the sex, the road trips. But the strength lies in the way the author weaves a narrative through Kerouac's development as a writer seeking a voice to call his own.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful