Sketching Jack Kerouac


Jack Kerouac is known as the father of the Beat Generation, author of what was then an unconventional book called “On the Road,” which broke from the usual narrative associated with road trip books.

Kerouac was taken with the notion of writing as sketching, something suggested to him by a friend, Ed White, who told Kerouac, “Why don’t you just sketch in the streets like a painter but with words?”

“On the Road” came out of that, and so did a whole lot of other sketching. They can be found in a new collection, “Jack Kerouac Book of Sketches” (Penguin Books, $18). The sketches, done between 1952 and 1957, come from the handwritten notebooks kept by Kerouac in the front pocket of his shirt.

The publisher says the collection pulls together these sketches for the first time, offering “an intimate glimpse of Kerouac at a key period of his literary career.”