Thursday, July 19, 2018

Curation #88 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Door Wide Open: A Beat Love Affair in Letters, 1957-1958 by Jack Kerouac and Joyce Johnson

Item #88 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this hardcover 2000 Viking first edition first printing of Joyce Johnson's Door Wide Open: A Beat Love Affair in Letters, 1957-1958. 182 pages, it measures about 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" and is in very good condition. The provenance is uncertain but it was likely an Amazon purchase. Sorry for the glare in the picture above.

This is a collection of letters between Jack Kerouac and his then girlfriend Joyce Glassman (now  Johnson). Jack's words are all in the letters, but Johnson supplements her letters with an introduction and helpful explanatory matter throughout. There is an index.

These letters cover the time immediately before, during, and after the publication of On The Road, making this a significant contribution to Kerouac scholarship and offering firsthand insights into his life and thought process at the time. It likewise offers insights into Johnson's life and thought process; she is an often unheralded but important writer and figure in the Beat story (as are many other woman in that circle). You can read Part I here as well as access a link to the NY Times review of the book.

Highly recommended for your Kerouac bookshelf.

Below is a picture of Shelf #3 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (8th from the left) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Gerard: The Influence of Jack Kerouac's Brother on His Life and Writing by Donald Motier.

Shelf #3 of my Kerouac bookshelf

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