One and Only: The Untold Story of On the Road

One and Only: The Untold Story of On the Road

4.6 3
by Gerald Nicosia, Anne Marie Santos
     
 

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Beloved by both Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, Lu Anne Henderson’s story has never been told.

Lu Anne was a beautiful 15-year-old girl in Denver in 1945 when she met Neal, a fast-talking hurricane of male sexuality and vast promises. The two married, and soon they were hanging out with a group of would-be writers, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg… See more details below

Overview

Beloved by both Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, Lu Anne Henderson’s story has never been told.

Lu Anne was a beautiful 15-year-old girl in Denver in 1945 when she met Neal, a fast-talking hurricane of male sexuality and vast promises. The two married, and soon they were hanging out with a group of would-be writers, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. But Neal and Jack initially didn’t like each other very much. Lu Anne taught them how to love each other — in effect, making the Beat Generation possible, as well as giving Kerouac material for one of the seminal novels of the 20th century, On the Road. One and Only traces the immense struggles of Lu Anne’s own life, which ranged from the split-up of her family to the ravages of abusive men, lingering illness, and the grief of losing the two most important men in her life.

Lu Anne Henderson did not live to see the filming of On the Road by Walter Salles, but One and Only tells how Twilight’s Kristen Stewart, through her work with both Nicosia and Anne Marie Santos (Lu Anne's daughter), came to find the key to playing Lu Anne in the film.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Other books on the beats have shown slight glimpses of Lu Anne Henderson, the “one true love” of Jack Kerouac’s sidekick Neal Cassady, but none does it as candidly as this new insider account of the creative forces of the movement that rocked America in the late 1950s. This book, co-written by Kerouac biographer Nicosia (Memory Babe) and Henderson’s daughter Santos, presents Henderson’s recollections: meeting Cassady at age 15 in Denver (Cassady was four years older); soon becoming his wife before his trek to New York City with a stolen car. Interviewed shortly before her death, Henderson emerges as a clear-eyed sensualist, wise beyond her years, entirely up to the sometimes zany antics of Kerouac and Cassady’s gang. Although she had a three-way sex session with Cassady and Allen Ginsberg, her kindest words are for the quiet, brooding literary genius Kerouac. Henderson also had a few snarky things to say about her rival, Carolyn, who later married Cassady. In the end, this bold, confidential look presents Henderson as a sturdy survivor in the bohemian movement, which evaporated swiftly but whose influence persists. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
“A real find for Beat aficionados, adding verve to a cherished moment in American history and the novel that came to define it.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Enticing for both new and old Kerouac fans, this audio features measured yet expressive readings of significant tidbits . . . and lively insight into how these zany folks lived an d how they weathered the fame that crushed so many.”
Booklist

Booklist
“Enticing for both new and old Kerouac fans, this audio features measured yet expressive readings of significant tidbits . . . and lively insight into how these zany folks lived an d how they weathered the fame that crushed so many.”
Booklist
Kirkus Reviews

Free-spirited adventuress? Promiscuous party girl? Proto-feminist? Who was the real Lu Anne Henderson, immortalized as "Marylou" in Jack Kerouac'sOn the Road?

Nicosia (Lunatics, Lovers, Poets, Vets and Bargirls, 2006, etc.) and Santos address many of the labels thrown at Henderson and her reputation in this composite text comprised of scholarly analysis, an extensive interview with Henderson conducted in 1978 and personal memoirs about her. Henderson, the 15-year-old beauty who married Neal Cassady, accompanied Kerouac, Cassady and others on the cross-country adventures later fictionalized inOn the Road. Nicosia makes a compelling case for Henderson's unique perspective on and understanding of Kerouac and Cassady, poster boys for the Beat generation. Henderson was there from the onset of their friendship, when she and a passionate, frenzied Cassady arrived in New York City in a stolen car, carrying suitcases of books but no cash. The two quickly fell in with a group of young students and budding writers, including Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and John Clellon Holmes. Cassady, desperately trying to become a writer and overcome his lack of education, was enthralled, inspired and sometimes jealous of these new peers. The balancing act of admiration and misunderstanding was most pronounced between Kerouac and Cassady, especially in later years. Yet their friendship ran deep and had profound effects on both of their lives, as Henderson directly observed in her role as friend and lover: "I really believe there was something of an umbilical cord between the two of them, because their lives were so entwined, and they really both ran the same gamut, and wound up at the same place." Henderson's extensive interview provides a unique perspective on the development of the seminal Kerouac-Cassady friendship, as well as anecdotes about and corrections to the account rendered inOn the Road. The oft-maligned Henderson, characterized as an oversexed nitwit in many film and memoir accounts of the period, speaks with intelligence, insight and tenderness about her experiences and her genuine affection for both men.

A real find for Beat aficionados, adding verve to a cherished moment in American history and the novel that came to define it.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781936740093
Publisher:
Cleis Press [Start]
Publication date:
11/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
248
Sales rank:
515,539
File size:
3 MB

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