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Two ebullient young men search for truth the Zen way: from marathon wine-drinking bouts, poetry jam sessions, and "yabyum" in San Francisco's Bohemia to solitude in the high Sierras and a vigil atop Desolation Peak in Washington State.
Jack Kerouac was born in 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts, and attended Columbia University in New York City, where he met Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. Viking-'s publication of On the Road in 1957 made him one of the best-known authors of his time. He died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969, at the age of forty-seven.
Ann Douglas is Parr Professor of Comparative Literature at Columbia University and currently at work on a book about Cold War culture.