Jack Kerouac's profound meditations on the Buddha's life and religion
In the mid-1950s, Jack Kerouac, a lifelong Catholic, became fascinated with Buddhism, an interest that had a significant impact on his ideas of spirituality and later found expression in such books as Mexico City Blues
and The Dharma Bums
. Originally written in 1955 and now published for the first time in paperback, Wake Up
is Kerouac's retelling of the life of Prince Siddhartha Gotama, who as a young man abandoned his wealthy family and comfortable home for a lifelong search for enlightenment. Distilled from a wide variety of canonical scriptures, Wake Up
serves as both a penetrating account of the Buddha's life and a concise primer on the principal teachings of Buddhism.