Steve's Reviews > Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir

Minor Characters by Joyce Johnson
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's review
May 02, 2010

liked it
Recommended for: those interested in The Beats
Read in May, 2010 — I own a copy

Published in '83, it is Joyce Johnson's memoir of her time w/ The Beats, and her affair w/ Kerouac. We don't get into that until half way through this short book. Much of her point is The Beats were pretty much an all-boys club. Yep, not sure anyone would argue that point w/ her. I've outgrown The Beats decades ago, but it was still interesting to read about them and NYC mid '50's. Intro by Ann Douglas (???)is mostly an attempt to say there were female Beat writers - but really, her examples were minor in comparison to the "major" (male) Beat writers. And many did not flourish until later. An enjoyable and informative read. Not sure I would pick up any of her other books. Maybe In the Night Cafe, which is a fictionalization of her youth.

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