Wake Up

Wake Up : A Life of the Buddha

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Never before published in Kerouac's lifetime, this 1955 biography of the founder of Buddhism is a clear and powerful study of Siddartha Gautama's life and works. "Wake Up" recounts the story of Prince Siddhartha's royal upbringing and his father's wish to protect him from all human suffering, despite a prediction that he would become a great holy man in later life. Departing from his father's palace, Siddhartha adopts a homeless life, struggles with his meditations, and eventually finds Enlightenment. Written at the end of Kerouac's career, when he became increasingly interested in Buddhist teachings, and collected for the first time in one book, this fresh and accessible biography is both an important addition to Kerouac's work and a valuable introduction to the world of Buddhism itself.

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  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 12mm | 140.61g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141189460
  • 9780141189468
  • 35,496

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Review quote

"["Wake Up"] contributes significantly to the fascinating picture of Kerouac's spirituality." -Jonah Raskin, "The Beat Review"

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About Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac was an American novelist, writer, poet and artist. Along with William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, he is amongst the best known of the writers (and friends) known as the Beat Generation. Kerouac spent many of the years between 1947 and 1951 on the road, inspiring the partly autobiographical and greatly acclaimed novel On the Road. Kerouac's search for a life worth living in the 1950's led him to recreational drug use and to travel, not only across North America but throughout the world. In 1954, Kerouac discovered Dwight Goddard's A Buddhist Bible at the San Jose library, which marked the beginning of his immersion into Buddhism. Kerouac's work was popular, but received little critical acclaim during his lifetime. Today, he is considered an important and influential writer who inspired others, including Tom Robbins, Lester Bangs and Ken Kesey, and musicians such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Morrissey.

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