Minor Characters is a vivid and compelling memoir of one woman's coming-of-age amidst the angels and poets of the Beat Generation. The friend and lover of Jack Kerouac during the two years surrounding the publication of On the Road - the book that made him suddenly and forever famous - Joyce Johnson describes with penetrating insight the circle of rebellious visionaries of which she became a part: Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, LeRoi Jones, Gregory Corso. But more than just chronicling the drama of her life with Kerouac, Johnson describes the roles that she and other women in her circle played as companions and acolytes to their male muses, women who set aside their own needs and ambitions, for a time, even as they searched to find their own voices and shape their own lives.
Johnson's 1987 NBCC Award- winning memoir of the 1950s and her relationship with Kerouac and other beats features a new introduction by the author. (Oct.)