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The Untold Story of On the Road and LuAnne Henderson, the Woman Who Started Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady on Their Journey
Gerald Nicosia, Anne Marie Santos
ISBN: 9781936740048
Book (Hardcover)
Viva Editions
$22.95
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
242 pages
November 21, 2011


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"One and Only: The Untold Story of On the Road brings together a set of interviews conducted by the Bay Area writer Gerald Nicosia with Lu Anne over a period of years before her death in 2008. Her oral history of the early Beats is interlaced with reflections on the major players of the age (Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, most notably), together with further reflections by Lu Anne's daughter; Anne Marie Santos. It provides the Beat aficionado with new information about the private lives of well-known personae."—San Francisco Chronicle

"I think it’s a beautifully conceived, edited, and written book, and I’m convinced it is the most important addition to Beat scholarship since Nicosia’s Memory Babe."—The Beatnik

"In many ways, it is more sobering than most volumes on Beat history. One telling incident is hopelessness concealed in the question Neal asked Lu Anne, when he finally went quiet and quit acting, “Where do we go from here, Babe?”"—Beatdom

Lu Anne Henderson was a beautiful 15-year-old girl in Denver in 1945 when she met Neal, a fast-talking hurricane of male sexuality and vast promises. The two married, and soon they were hanging out with a group of would-be writers, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Lu Anne became the secret link between Kerouac and Cassady, helping to ignite the Beat Generation, and giving Kerouac material for one of the seminal novels of the 20th century, On the Road. Lu Anne Henderson did not live to see the filming of On the Road by Walter Salles, but One and Only tells how Twilight’s Kristen Stewart, through her work with both Nicosia and Anne Marie Santos (Lu Anne's daughter), came to find the key to playing Lu Anne in the film.

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.


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