Jack Kerouac is one of America's most influential literary figures. On the Road
begot the Beat Generation, which ushered in the hippie movement, then free love, then drugs and so on and so on. Yet the real Kerouac bore little resemblance to this enduring image as an open-road rebel and spokesman of the Beats. He was a lover of women and wine, all right, but also a sad, confused romantic who longed for acceptance and often viewed life with a child's perspective. By capturing his emotions in his personal writings, Selected Letters
helps shed light on a figure who was as troubled as he was rebellious.