Dear Joyce

kerouacjoyce

Well my on-going challenge to see just how many books I can read at one time is in full swing this summer as I am currently halfway through probably a dozen books. One of the books I’m nearly finished reading is by Joyce Johnson, who was somewhat of a girlfriend of Kerouac’s. I say it that way because they didn’t seem to spend much time together as he was unable to stay in one place for too many days consecutively. The book called, “Door Wide Open” is a book of correspondence between the two and shows how truly conflicted and uncomfortable he was about his life and his newfound fame. He certainly wanted to be known and appreciated for the writing but at the same time, he was unnerved by the onslaught of attention and moved around a lot to keep that nervousness at bay. Of course I’d like to read Joyce’s books as well, but maybe that’s a bit much right now, you think?

Photo of Jack Kerouac & Joyce Johnson: Jerome Yulsman/Globe Photos

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6 thoughts on “Dear Joyce

  1. Lis,
    It’s hard to pick…it’s more about favorite books for me (check my list when you get a chance in my pages) but to narrow it down: Daphne du Maurier, Michael Ondaatje, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, e.e. cummings, Robert Creeley, Rumi, and on the scary side, Neil Gaiman and Stephen King. Sci-fi-Frank Herbert was the best. Blindness by Jose Saramago was brilliant-it’s the only thing I’ve read by him, however. Who are the favs for you?
    Love Jenn

  2. Okay Jenn here goes: fave authors would be: Hemingway, Marguerite Duras, Henry Miller, Glenn Savan, and E.B. White to name a few. Some of my favorite books are “Garden of Eden” & “Sun Also Rises” by Hemingway, “The Lover” (an amazing book) by Duras, “My Life & Times” by Henry Miller, “Goldman’s Anatomy” by Glenn Savan, and “The Trumpet of the Swan” by E.B. White. Well you know, there are many but these stood out for me. I used to read Stephen King a lot and I think he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for being such a great writer. I’ve never read Ondaatje, sad to say, so which one would you recommend I start with?
    Love, Lis

  3. Lis,
    Oh God, it’s a hard to pick which Ondaatje – not his latest Divisidiro (it’s been on my shelf for a year now, I can’t get into it, even though I love Michael). I’d have to say the English Patient (bring tissues if you watch the movie-but read the book first!!)
    I like Hemingway also. Have the Short Story collection. The Snows of Kilimanjaro is my favorite. Loved A Movable Feast. Would like to re-read it. Would love to read The Garden of Eden. Had that book in my hand many times at the library…After reading Anais Nin’s diary, book one, I’ve been wanting to catch something by Miller. What do you recommend?

    Love, Jenn

  4. Hey Jenn,

    Sorry it took me so long. Maybe start with “Quiet Days in Clichy” but these are also good: “Crazy Cock” & “Black Spring”… He’s pretty graphic of course and if they seem too much, then maybe you might like “Plexus”.

    Love, Lis

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