Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg

Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg : The Letters

4.25 (552 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , By (author)  , Edited by  , Edited by 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


-[An] essential Beat masterpiece.- --The Village Voice.
Perhaps one of the last great dual correspondences of the twentieth century, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters reveals not only the process of creation of the two most celebrated members of the Beat Generation, but also the unfolding of a remarkable friendship of immense pathos and spiritual depth. Through this exhilarating exchange of letters, two-thirds of which have never been published before, Kerouac and Ginsberg emerge first and foremost as writers of artistic passion, innovation, and genius. Vivid and enthralling, the letters, which date from their first meeting in 1944 to Kerouac's untimely death in 1969, chronicle the endless struggle, anguish, and sacrifice involved in giving form to their literary visions.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 500 pages
  • 150 x 228 x 32mm | 498.95g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • The Penguin Press
  • United States
  • English
  • 0143119540
  • 9780143119548
  • 183,185

About Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac(1922-1969), the central figure of the Beat Generation, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922 and died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969. Among his many novels are On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, and Visions of Cody.
Bill Morgan is a painter and archival consultant. He is the author of The Beat Generation in New York: A Walking Tour of Jack Kerouac's City, The Beat Generation in SanFrancisco: A Literary Tour, and edited Deliberate Prose: Selected Essays of Allen Ginsberg 1952-1995. Also for October 2006 publication, he has edited Ginsberg's The Book of Martrydom and Artifice: First Journals and Poems, 1937-1952, with Jaunita Lieberman-Plimpton, as well as Howl on Trial: the Battle for Free Expression.
show more

Review quote

"The Kerouac-Ginsberg letters are marvelous and lively. The exchange ranks among the best examples of completely engaged literary correspondence we know in the past 50 years."
-The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Open-hearted and richly detailed. . . Rich in news about fellow Beat writers, including John Clellon Holmes, William Burroughs, and Gregory Corso, among others, their correspondence provides a bird's-eye view of what went into the making and marketing of the Beat Generation. The publication of these letters between two of America's leading 20th-century authors is an extraordinary event in American literature, particularly welcome in this era of chat and Twitter."
-Library Journal
"Documenting the adventures of "Old Bean" (Allen) and "Jackiboo" from their days at Columbia through October 1969, weeks before Kerouac's death, the letters form a kind of essential Beat masterpiece, and offer hilarious behind-the-scenes commentary on all the "mad ones" involved."
-The Village Voice
"[E]ditors Stanford and Morgan showcase 200 high-voltage letters, most never before published, that embody the energy and psychic hunger that fueled the creativity of these giants of American literature . . . This incandescent collection deepens our understanding of an essential literary revolution."
"The collection reads like a Dostoyevsky novel"
-The New York Observer
"In the seductive collection they've called Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters, the editors Bill Morgan and David Stanford stake out a distinct piece of literary turf. They do this despite the fact that Kerouac and Ginsberg were expansive letter writers, that each wrote to many correspondents, and that reams of these other letters have already shown up elsewhere."
-The New York Times (Daily Review)
"The depth of their [Kerouac and Ginsberg's] development as friends but especially as writers has never been shown more clearly than in this stunning new collection, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters. . . Ginsberg biographer Bill Morgan and David Stanford, a longtime editor at Viking, provide readers with a volume as illuminating as it is indispensable for understanding these writers and their work."
-The Los Angeles Times
"Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters is destined to become an indispensable item on any fan's bookshelf. . . The collected Kerouac-Ginsberg correspondence is pure literary gold that fans and scholars will mine for decades."
-San Francisco Chronicle
show more

Rating details

552 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
5 45% (251)
4 38% (208)
3 14% (77)
2 3% (15)
1 0% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X