One and Only: The Untold Story of On the Road and LuAnne Henderson, the Woman Who Started Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady on Their Journey

One and Only: The Untold Story of On the Road and LuAnne Henderson, the Woman Who Started Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady on Their Journey

by Gerald Nicosia, Anne Marie Santos


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One and Only: The Untold Story of On the Road and LuAnne Henderson, the Woman Who Started Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady on Their Journey by Gerald Nicosia, Anne Marie Santos

Beloved by both Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, Lu Anne Henderson has never told her story. Lu Anne was a beautiful 15-year-old girl in Denver in 1945 when she met Neal, a fast-talking hurricane of male sexuality. The two married, and soon they were hanging out with a group of young would-be writers, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. But Neal and Jack initially didn't like each other. Lu Anne ended up loving them both, and she taught them how to love each other -- 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 life, from the split-up of her family during the Great Depression to the ravages of abusive men and a late-life heroin addiction. It shows how her life intertwined with Jack's and Neal's to the very end.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781573449557
Publisher: Start Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 04/02/2013
Pages: 244
Sales rank: 1,142,946
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Gerald Nicosia is a biographer, historian, poet, playwright and novelist. His biography of Jack Kerouac, Memory Babe, won the Distinguished Young Writer Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters while still a work-in-progress. Called a "great book" by Allen Ginsberg and "by far the best of the many books published about Jack Kerouac's life and work" by William Burroughs, it is still widely regarded as the definitive work on Kerouac.

From his years of work with Vietnam veterans on their issues of healing from the war came his book Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans' Movement, which won numerous honors and was picked by the Los Angeles Times as one of the "Best Books of the Year" in 2001. He has written numerous critical articles and reviews for almost every major newspaper in the U.S., and he publishes his poetry widely in the small presses, having earned a number of Pushcart nominations along the way. Nicosia was invited by Director Walter Salles to pioneer the "Beat Boot Camp," creating an immersion experience for the actors in the upcoming major movie of On the Road.

Read an Excerpt

From Part Three:

Jack would throw me up in the air and catch me. I became the most graceful person in the world. Yeah, I was a ballet star, and he was a Nijinsky! We were fantastic together! He loved it, and so did I, because our confidence used to soar when we danced like that. We didn’t care who was watching. Jack, as everyone knows, was no extrovert in that respect; and believe me, neither have I ever been. I never want to be the center of attraction anywhere. In a group, a room full of people, I just want to sit back and listen. But in that respect, Jack and I would become extroverts, and happily, when we danced. We just thought we were so good. In fact, this dancing bit became like a little secret between the two of us. We really knew how great we were, and we didn’t care where we were. When we got loaded, and Jack would ask me to dance, we’d just start doing the Nijinsky moves all over again. We really did it, and it was like the world disappeared. That’s something I’ve never told anybody.

Table of Contents



Note to the Transcription

Interview with Lu Anne

Lu Anne’s Role in Beat History / Cultural History

Al Hinkle’s Story

Letter to Neal

A Daughter’s Recollection

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One and Only: The Untold Story of on the Road and Luanne Henderson, the Woman Who Started Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady on Their Journey 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an English major in UC Berkeley, a popular book that's on all the coolest professors' lists is Jack Kerouac On the Road. One and Only provides an insight on the leading lady that made On The Road possible. Gerald Nicosia and Anne Marie Santos investigate Lu Anne's journey with Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady. She brought the two together; the peanut butter to the boys' sandwich! Not only do we get to read accounts from Lu Anne and her experiences among Kerouac, Cassady as well as other members of the Beat Generation (like Ginsberg!), but the book contains actual photos from Lu Anne herself. One chapter contains a grueling cross-country trip with Al Hinkle. They were crossing the Rocky Mountains in order to pick up Kerouac. They managed to slip off the roads and land in a ditch while a snow storm was blazing. There are plenty of stories like that and all straight from Lu Anne. It's a joy reading the life of your idols; Nicosia and Santos really take the reader to the grooviest times in America's history and all from the point of view of Lu Anne.If you like history, English, or just love anything to do with the Beat Generation. This book is for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's so wonderful to see the behind the scenes of your favorite book. ONE AND ONLY is so beautiful and touching, it was like entering back into Jack's life in a whole new and lovely light. I absolutely loved this book and recommend it to everyone. Gerald Nicosia did such a wonderful job telling Lu Anne's story.