You'll Be Okay: My Life with Jack Kerouac

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9780872864641: You'll Be Okay: My Life with Jack Kerouac
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“You have a unique viewpoint from which to write about Jack as no one else has or could write. I feel very deeply that this book must be written. And no one else, I repeat, can write it.”—William S. Burroughs

Edie Parker was eighteen years old when she met Jack Kerouac at Columbia University in 1940. A young socialite from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she had come to New York to study art, and quickly found herself swept up in the excitement and new freedoms that the big city offered a sheltered young woman of that time.

Jack Kerouac was also eighteen, attending Columbia on a football scholarship, impressing his friends with his intelligence and knowledge of literature. Introduced by a mutual friend, Jack and Edie fell in love and quickly moved in together, sharing an apartment with Joan Adams (who would later marry William S. Burroughs). This is the story of their life together in New York, where they began lifetime friendships with Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and others. Edie’s memoir provides the only female voice from that nascent period, when the leading members of the Beat Generation were first meeting and becoming friends.
In the end, Jack and Edie went their separate ways, keeping in touch only on rare occasions through letters and late-night phone calls. In his last letter to Edie, written a month before his death, Kerouac ended it with the encouraging phrase: “You’ll be okay.” It was from that note that the title of this book was taken.

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About the Author:

Edie Parker was the first wife of Jack Kerouac. A writer and painter who lived with Kerouac for four years, her role in the community was crucial to the development of the early Beat Generation. She introduced Kerouac to Lucien Carr, who was quickly followed by Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs.

Review:

"A must-read about a much neglected saga of the legendary iconic Kerouac." -- Paul Maher Jr., author of Jack Kerouac's American Journey

"A quirky and poignant addition to the Beat lore." -- Anne Waldman, The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics

"An in depth retelling of the story from Edie's perspective...it will add to our knowledge of Kerouac's life." -- Brian Dalton, Beat Scene

"In these pages we meet the young genius of just before 'On the Road,' adored by all and loved by her most of all." -- Andrei Codrescu, author of Wakefield

"Sad and funny, full of pathos and the lost dreams of youth." -- Jonah Raskin, The San Francisco Chronicle

"She also had a front-row seat for the previews of the Sal-and-Dean show, which became the heart of 'On the Road.'" -- Newsweek, August 13, 2007

"We've officially entered what might as well be called Jack Kerouac Awareness Month. . . . and the commemorations include . . . a memoir, 'You'll Be Okay,' from Kerouac's first wife." -- NY Times "Papercuts" blog, August 8, 2007

"the posthumous memoir by Kerouac's first wife, joins more than a dozen memoirs and biographies about Kerouac published since his death at 47 in 1969." -- USA Today, August 21, 2007

"this book offers a fresh look at Kerouac as husband and lover as well as a new chapter on the role of women in the Beat Generation. Highly Recommended." -- Library Journal, September 15th, 2007

"Those who read only the best-known works of the Beat Generation--Ginsberg's Howl, Kerouac's On the Road, Burroughs's Naked Lunch--will be forgiven for thinking that the Beats were a misogynistic lot: women, when they appeared at all, were cast in minor roles, and it is only in recent years that we have begun to hear their side of the story. You'll Be Okay: My Life With Jack Kerouac is Edie Kerouac-Parker's account of her marriage to Jack Kerouac, and though the marriage only lasted from 1944 to 1946, it is clear that those two years came to represent a lost, golden period in her life. Written much later than the events described and published posthumously. . . the account is deeply nostalgic and rich in detail, and it gives a vivid sense of what it was like to be a headstrong young woman in love with a budding author, both of them trying to make it big in Manhattan during the 1940s." --Michael Hayward, Geist Magazine --Michael Hayward, Geist Magazine

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