The Voice Is All
The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac
By Joyce Johnson
(Viking Books, Hardcover, 9780670025107, 489pp.)
Publication Date: September 13, 2012
List Price: $32.95*
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A groundbreaking portrait of Kerouac as a young artist—from the award-winning author of Minor Characters
In The Voice is All, Joyce Johnson, author of her 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 to 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.