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One and Only

The Untold Story of On the Road and LuAnne Henderson, the Woman Who Started Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady on Their Journey

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Beloved by both Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, Lu Anne Henderson has never told her story. Lu Anne was a beautiful 15-year-old girl in Denver in 1945 when she met Neal, a fast-talking hurricane of male sexuality. The two married, and soon they were hanging out with a group of young would-be writers, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. But Neal and Jack initially didn’t like each other. Lu Anne ended up loving them both, and she taught them how to love each other — giving Kerouac material for one of the seminal novels of the 20th century, On the Road. One and Only traces the immense struggles of Lu Anne’s life, from the split-up of her family during the Great Depression to the ravages of abusive men and a late-life heroin addiction. It shows how her life intertwined with Jack’s and Neal’s to the very end.

Gerald Nicosia is a biographer, historian, poet, playwright and novelist. His biography of Jack Kerouac, Memory Babe, won the Distinguished Young Writer Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters while still a work-in-progress. Called a "great book" by Allen Ginsberg and "by far the best of the many books published about Jack Kerouac's life and work" by William Burroughs, it is still widely regarded as the definitive work on Kerouac.From his years of work with Vietnam veterans on their issues of healing from the war came his book Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans' Movement, which won numerous honors and was picked by the Los Angeles Times as one of the "Best Books of the Year" in 2001. He has written numerous critical articles and reviews for almost every major newspaper in the U.S., and he publishes his poetry widely in the small presses, having earned a number of Pushcart nominations along the way. Nicosia was invited by Director Walter Salles to pioneer the "Beat Boot Camp," creating an immersion experience for the actors in the upcoming major movie of On the Road.

  • Publisher: Viva Editions (April 5, 2013)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781936740444