The seminal tome of the Beat generation, Jack Kerouac’s novel, “On the Road,” was published on September 5, 1957. Though written in 1951 on a continuous 120 foot roll of paper it took many years and many revisions to finally get published in 1957.
“On the Road,” made Jack famous and came to be the novel that defined the Beat generation. You can read The New York Times review of the book here. The novel is a fictionalized account of Kerouac’s travels across the United States and includes references to many of his friends and other beat luminaries including Neal Cassaday, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs.
2012 marked what would have been Jack Kerouac’s 90th birthday, which we posted about at the time. Though very much a nomad, Kerouac spent a great deal of time in Greenwich Village and the South Village, hanging out in spots like the White Horse Tavern, Caffe Reggio (both Village Award winners), the San Remo Cafe (mentioned in this post about Gore Vidal), and the Gaslight Cafe, where he was interviewed by Mike Wallace in 1960. Jack Kerouac is very much a part of the Village and the Village and its bohemian culture definitely became a part of him.
You can learn more about the Beats and the Village by visiting our resource page.