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You'll Be Okay: My Life with Jack Kerouac
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You'll Be Okay: My Life with Jack Kerouac

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  208 ratings  ·  22 reviews
“You have a unique viewpoint from which to write about Jack as no one else has or could write. I feel very deeply that this book must be written. And no one else, I repeat, can write it.”—William S. Burroughs

Edie Parker was eighteen years old when she met Jack Kerouac at Columbia University in 1940. A young socialite from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she had come to New York t
Paperback, 279 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by City Lights Publishers
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3.54  · 
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 ·  208 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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You'll Be Okay: My Life with Jack Kerouac is, for anyone with an interest in Jack Kerouac and the leading members of the Beat Generation group of writers and artists, a fascinating story of how they lived in wartime New York City during the early 1940s. Edie herself was married to Kerouac between 1944 and 1948.

I confess to knowing little about Jack Kerouac and not having read any of his books. But a couple of years ago, I went to see the movie 'Kill Your Darlings' which was centered on the colle
Francesca Russell
Jul 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
The writing is rather clunky and amateurish, but Edie has the really unique perspective of being married to Jack Kerouac before he gained notoriety as a writer. Their romance in WWII era New York City while Kerouac was a student at Columbia evokes a lovely nostalgia and although its obvious that Edie perhaps remembers things with "rose-colored glasses", I still found myself caught up in their romance. It was also interesting to hear about Jack's life pre-"On the Road" and to see where some of hi ...more
Aug 25, 2008 rated it liked it
i stumbled upon this while looking to replace my copy of On the Road. always interesting to read another person's perspective and experiences, especially from a woman's voice. could've used something more though, but not a bad read
Lisa Zacks
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved this book! It provided an interesting perspective of the early years with Jack Kerouac. Yes, Edie Kerouac-Parker was not a great writer and was perhaps a bit "on the spectrum" and provided a lot of unnecessary details (like exact descriptions of what she wore), but she had an interesting life and was responsible for a lot of the introductions of members of the Beat Generations. I actually wish she would have gone on and discussed more about her life after Kerouac. I don't think he was the ...more
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
A must read for a fan, however sad. Another voice, another perspective, mostly focusing on their short dead-end relationship before On the Road. After a very short marriage, they separated and divorced, and both mostly lived with their mothers until death. We get an insider's view of his parents and sister, a few rare photos, her perspective of the Kammerer murder, and Jack's week behind bars instead of in them. We also meet the real Remi Boncoeur - Henri Cru, as he dated Edie before introducing ...more
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting. Easy-to-read. If you're a Kerouac fan you should read this.
Nov 21, 2010 rated it liked it
This has all the makings of a great book. The story of Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg et al. during their early days at Columbia; the backdrop of World War II; a socialite from Gross Pointe who was there at the beginning; and even a homosexual love triangle of sorts, resulting in a scandalous murder. Really engrossing stuff.

Unfortunately, the creation of this book was mainly in the hands of said socialite, and she is not a writer. The writing is pedestrian and contains a lot of pointless detail ab
Mar 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Edie Kerouac-Parker was married to Jack Kerouac from 1944-1946. Her memoir focuses on their time together in New York during World War II when he was a longshoreman and she worked as a riveter. They were actually married in prison when Jack was being held for his involvement in the Lucien Carr case.(Whose son, Caleb Carr wrote The Alienist) They were married so that Edie could get an advance on her inheritance to get Jack out, how romantic. They were only together a short time after being marrie ...more
Oct 05, 2010 rated it liked it
I could have done a little less with what Edie wore while she was at Columbia and welcomed a little more of what she thought.

All in all, this was an original take on that period in time. I really do think she tricked Kerouac into marrying her. It was interesting to learn more about the Lucien situation.
May 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
When On the Road was published in 1957, America was exposed to prolific beauty within the riveting tale. This tale of life, throughout its triumphs and tragedies, left the nation both inspired and bewildered. However, as with any tale, the story has many parts. You'll Be Okay is a heart-warming, eccentric tale of Edie Kerouac Parker's life with the legendary Jack Kerouac.
Apr 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
An okay account of the Columbia and Greenwich days before they were the published, famous, murderous, alcoholic, cosmic deadbeats I also fell in love with. Found myself wishing, as ever, that the womens weren't always cast as the salon, setting or muse but in her candid way Edie grew up to be a writer too.
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: finished
I read "On The Road" back in college, but I don't remember ever reading about his wife. So, I thought this might shed some light on their relationship. It was good but not very entertaining.
Dec 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Edie Kerouac-Parker tells the story of her brief marriage to jack. These were very intelligent, yet troubled people. Jack's writing is great, but his life was a tragedy. Where would literature be without alcoholism and self-destruction?
Dec 06, 2007 rated it it was ok
it was ok. nothing particularly new or interesting.
Kristen Morgan
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
awesome, awesome, awesome...
Laura Falby
Jul 29, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a great way to learn about a famous person. By what his former wife says about him.
Mar 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
The Memoirs of Jack's first wife. A really great look into pre On the Road Jack.
Sep 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
it's cool to hear what kerouac was like, and to hear the other side of all his stories. it's gives you a whole new perception of kerouac.
Jan 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Good intimate look at sweet Jack from the early days...a good snapshot of NYC beat life during WWII.
Nov 24, 2013 rated it liked it
The story was fascinating but the writing was rough. I felt it was a bit "romantic" at times as far as the recollection of the past.
Jun 17, 2016 added it
Eddie's memoir about life with Jack Kerouac
Dec 14, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
DNF. I was so excited to read this, but the writing was so terrible I could not get into it at all.
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Darren Hamblin
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Edie Kerouac-Parker was the first wife of Jack Kerouac, and the author of the memoir 'You'll Be Okay', about her life with Kerouac and the early days of the Beat Generation. While a student at Barnard College, she and Joan Vollmer shared an apartment on 118th Street in New York City, frequented by many Beats, among them Vollmer's eventual husband William S. Burroughs.

Parker was a native of Grosse