The Haunted Life: and Other Writings

The Haunted Life: and Other Writings

by Jack Kerouac, Todd F. Tietchen
     
 

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In 1944—under circumstances that remain rather mysterious—an aspiring writer named Jack Kerouac lost a novella-length manuscript title The Haunted Life, a coming-of-age story set in his hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts.

Kerouac set his fictional treatment of Peter Martin against the backdrop of the everyday. Peter is heading into his

Overview


In 1944—under circumstances that remain rather mysterious—an aspiring writer named Jack Kerouac lost a novella-length manuscript title The Haunted Life, a coming-of-age story set in his hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts.

Kerouac set his fictional treatment of Peter Martin against the backdrop of the everyday. Peter is heading into his sophomore year at Boston College, and while home for the summer in Galloway he struggles with the pressing issues of his day—the economic crisis of the previous decade and what appears to be the impending entrance of the United States into the Second World War.

The Haunted Life is rounded out by sketches, notes, and reflections Kerouac kept during the novella's composition, as well as a revealing selection of correspondence with his father, Leo Kerouac.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for The Haunted Life

12 Spring Books Not To Miss, Library Journal

"Provides an exciting look into Kerouac's formative years"—Los Angeles Review of Books

"A very satisfying introduction to Kerouac's attempts at finding his voice and vision as a writer"—Providence Sunday Journal

Library Journal
05/01/2014
Lost until the manuscript surfaced at a Sotheby's auction in 2002, this unfinished work by Kerouac (1922–69) covers much the same ground as The Town and the City, his first published novel. Also set in Galloway (Kerouac's fictional name for his hometown, Lowell, MA), it, too, chronicles the life of the Martin family in the years leading up to World War II, a war that would take the lives of Sebastian Sampas and Billy Chandler, boyhood friends of Kerouac, who, thinly disguised, appear as characters here. Tietchen (English, Univ. of Lowell, The Cubalogues) fills out the volume with a collection of related sketches, letters, and journal entries. The material in the second section, including a 1948 outline for The Town and the City, bridges both works, providing valuable insight into Kerouac's artistic development. The final segment, focusing on Kerouac's father, portrays Leo more sympathetically than most of Kerouac's biographers do. VERDICT This collection brings together a series of documents that focus on a brief but significant period in Kerouac's youth. Serious students of the author's life and work will want to add this title to their book shelves alongside other "lost" works, including And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks and The Sea Is My Brother. [See "Galley Guide Discoveries," 1/19/14.]—William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306823046
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
03/11/2014
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 5.70(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Jack Kerouac was born in 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts. The best-known of his many works, On the Road, published in 1957, was an international bestseller. He died in St. Petersburg, Florida, at the age of forty-seven.

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