Item #125 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this paperback 2007 City Lights (no printing number) edition of You'll Be Okay: My Life with Jack Kerouac by Edie Kerouac-Parker. 286 pages, it measures about 5-1/8" x 8" and is in very good condition. The provenance is that it was a 2013 Christmas gift from Crystal (I know that from the inscription on the title page).
Through mutual friend Henri Cru, 18-year-old Edie Parker met Jack Kerouac when he was at Columbia in 1940. They married in a deal to get money from her parents to bail Jack out of jail for his involvement in the 1944 Lucien Carr murder of David Kammerer. Needless to say, their marriage didn't last long. This memoir details their time together and features 29 black-and-white pictures. It includes an intro and an afterword by her companion Timothy Moran, a preface by Bill Morgan, and a foreword by the author.
There are a number of Kerouac memoirs written by his intimates, and each one provides unique perspectives on Jack's life. Regarding this one, William [S.] Burroughs said (back cover blurb):
You have a unique viewpoint from which to write about Jack as no one else has or could write. I feel very deeply that this book must be written. And no one else, I repeat, can write it.
You can read review blurbs about this book at the City Lights website here (as well as purchase the book). While I must confess that I can't remember if I read this book -- I think I did -- it is safe to say that it needs to be on any comprehensive Kerouac bookshelf.
Below is a picture of Shelf #4 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (19th from the left) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Memoirs of a Beatnik by Diane di Prima.
|Shelf #4 of my Kerouac bookshelf|