You'll Be Okay: My Life with Jack Kerouac

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$14.95  $13.90
City Lights Publishers - City Lights Publishe
Publish Date
5.33 X 0.81 X 8.06 inches | 0.74 pounds
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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.


"Sad and funny, full of pathos and the lost dreams of youth, 'You'll Be Okay' will find it's way to the short list of exceptional books by women of the Beat Generation that includes Carolyn Cassady's 'Off the Road' and Joyce Johnson's 'Minor Characters.' This year, on the 50th anniversary of the publication of 'On the Road, ' readers may well want to turn to Edie's long-overdue memoir for one woman's soulful view of Kerouac, Carr, Ginsberg and Burroughs, whom she knew intimately and describes in her own inimitable style." - Jonah Raskin, The San Francisco Chronicle

"Kerouac's first wife, Edie Parker, played a pivotal role in his literary evolution, but her side of the story hasn't been fully known until now. . . . Fascinating in her own right, and writing with compelling lucidity and soulful sweetness, Parker vividly recalls her posh childhood, life in Queens with Kerouac and his parents . . . she provides a rare female perspective on the notoriously misogynistic Beat enclave. "--Booklist, Starred Review

"A quirky and poignant addition to the Beat lore and 'memory' by a woman who lived it."--Anne Waldman, The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics

"This is a wonderful memoir of a girl in love. When she wrote it, Edie Frankie Parker was no longer a girl, and her love, Jack Kerouac, was long gone. But Edie, or Frankie as her intimates called her, remembered everything about her brief marriage to Jack, as if a bubble of resilient sunshine had encapsulated those few years during World War 2, and kept intact every detail. She remembers what they ate, what they wore, what movies they saw. Her Jack Kerouac was young, handsome, a lover of fun, and a would-be writer. He stayed so in her memory and though she alludes occasionally to the alcoholic monster that emerged in later years, that creature doesn't live here. In these pages we meet the young genius of just before On the Road, adored by all and loved by her most of all. The flavor of the war years with all their privations and mad hopes wafts from these pages freshly, like an Atlantic breeze, and makes one wonder, finally, what might have happened if Jack had settled down with Frankie, instead of following the turbulent destiny that changed America."--Andrei Codrescu, author of Wakefield

"Edie Kerouac-Parker's long-delayed post-humous memoir clears up much of the myth-making and 'made-up facts' about this tumultuous, but seminal relationship between herself and ex-husband Jack Kerouac. She was there at the first meeting between the Beats, she knew Jack Kerouac as an ambitious, reckless driven writer searching to make a name for himself in the big city. Honest, poignant, humorous, this book is a must-read about a much-neglected saga of the legendary iconic Kerouac."--Paul Maher Jr., author of Jack Kerouac's American Journey: The Real-Life Odyssey of On the Road

"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."--New York Times "Papercuts" blog, August 8, 2007

"[T]he 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

"[T]his 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