Published in its entirety for the first time, "The Sea is My Brother" is Jack Kerouac's first novel. Described by Kerouac as being about 'man's simple revolt from society as it is, with the inequalities, frustration, and self-inflicted agonies', the 158-page handwritten manuscript was not published during his lifetime. He wrote in his notes for the project that the characters were 'the vanishing American, the big free by, the American Indian, the last of the pioneers, the last of the hoboes'. This novel follows the fortunes of Wesley Martin, a man who Kerouac said 'loved the sea with a strange, lonely love; the sea is his brother and sentences. He goes down.' Kerouac began this work not long after his first tour as a Merchant Marine on the S.S. Dorchester in the late summer of 1942 during which he kept a journal detailing the gritty daily routine of life at sea. Inspired by the trip, which exemplified Kerouac's love for adventure and the character traits of his fellow shipmates, the journals were spontaneous sketches of those experiences that were woven into a short novel soon after disembarking from the S.S. Dorchester in October of 1942. This edition also contains a number of other fragments of Kerouac's early writing and letters between Kerouac and Sebastian Sampas all from the early 1940s, as well as many images.
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Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1922. In 1947, enthused by bebop, the rebel attitude of his friend Neal Cassady, and the throng of hobos, drug addicts and hustlers he encountered in New York, he decided to discover America and hitchhike across the country. His writing was openly autobiographical and he developed a style he referred to as 'spontaneous prose' which he used to record the experiences of the Beat Generation. Among his many novels are On the Road, Visions of Cody, The Subterraneans, The Dharma Bums and Big Sur. He died in 1969.Review:
Anyone interested in the making of the Beat generation will be fascinated by this survival from its beginnings [And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks] -- Jessica Mann Literary Review 20081201 William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac are two of the most important and influential American writers of the last century [And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks] Civvy Street 20081201 It changed my life like it changed everyone else's [On the Road] -- Bob Dylan This volume is a revelation ... The writing is vivid, serious and extraordinary ... Wonderful -- Kate Saunders The Times What's clear from this newly published first novel is that Kerouac was positively fizzing with talent at an early age Sunday Times
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