Item #149 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this softcover 2002 Rutgers University Press (no printing number) edition of Girls Who Wore Black: Women Writing the Beat Generation edited by Ronna C. Johnson and Nancy M. Grace. 295 pages, it measures about 6" x 9" and is in very good condition. The provenance is uncertain -- I thought it was an Amazon purchase but I have no record of it in my order history. It may have been a gift.
As Kerouac biographer Ann Charters says in the foreword, women played "an important part in the literature of the Beat Generation." Unfortunately, women writers of the Beat Generation are often as marginalized in real life as women in general were marginalized in Beat literature. This volume helps address that injustice with its collection of 11 essays focused on women Beat writers. These names appear in the titles alone (more appear within the essays):
Diane di Prima
Janine Pommy Vega
These essays are quite scholarly in tone and content and consequently may not be everyone's cup of tea. Nevertheless, this book deserves a spot on your Kerouac bookshelf especially if you seek items that are Beat-centric and not just Kerouac-focused.
Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (3rd from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: A Casebook on the Beat edited by Thomas Parkinson.
|Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf|