Women of the Beat Generationby Brenda Knight, Ann Charters
The Beat Generation created an American revolution in literature and culture that transformed the mid-twentieth century. The Beats helped make literature a democracy. All one needed, they believed, was passion and a love of the written word. The names of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, and William Burroughs and their friends are well known to the reading public at large, and on its face the beat movement appears to have been an exclusively male phenomenon. But the Beat movement's publicity did not necessarily reflect the reality of its literature and spirit. This singular book is devoted to contributions of women to the body and spirit of the Beat revolution. The women included in this anthology run the gamut from the famous---Carolyn Cassady and Jan Kerouac-to the relatively undiscovered-Mary Fabilli and Helen Adam. The art, prose, and poetry selected represent the full range and development of their work. The women whose work is featured in this anthology were talented rebels with enough courage and creative spirit to turn their backs on "the good life" that the fifties promised and forge their way to San Francisco and Greenwich Village. They dared to attempt to create lives of their own and make their own way. Today an unprecedented amount of brilliant, imaginative and highly experimental writing by women is being recognized and applauded. This anthology looks back to the antecedents for this greater liberty of expression. It is a testament to the lives of the women who helped shape the Beat era. Together, their voices form an energetic force field of consciousness that manifested at a rich and difficult time in cultural history. Women of the Beat Generation profiles 40 women --Precursors, Muses Writers, and Artists-including Elise Cowen, Diane di Prima, Hettie Jones, Joan Vollmer Burroughs, Jan Kerouac, Jane Bowles, Carolyn Cassady, Edie Parker Kerouac Eileen Kaufman, Joyce Johnson, Denise Levertov, Brenda Frazer, Anne Waldman, Jay DeFeo, Joan Brown, and many others Women of the Beat Generation highlights the lives and work of these female iconoclasts, and ensures the world will not forget their contributions to its transformation.
- MJF Books
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I found this book to be intersting and informative about the lives of some of the unknown women in the beat generation. Especially I enjoyed Elise Cowan. Quite unappreciated and bordering on mad.. as most brilliant people are.