"—ah, you always go for the ones who don't really want you—"
By Jack Kerouac
First paperback printing of Kerouac's novella recounting his relationship with Alene Lee, who picked him up for his "beautiful" profile and walked away from him in her own good time.
"I see her standing, with her black velvet slacks, handsapockets, thin, slouched, cig hanging from lips, the smoke itself curling up, her little black back hairs of short haircut combed down fine and sleek, her lipstick, pale brown skin, dark eyes, the way shadows play on her high cheekbones, the nose, the little soft shape of chin to neck, the little Adam's apple, so hip, tso cool, so beautiful, so modern, so new, so unattainable..."
Kerouac's fictionalized account of his romance with "Mardou Fox" - based on Alene Lee, an African American member of the Beat circle who demanded anonymity during her lifetime but whose life has since been illuminated by her daughter's recollections: "She was, quite simply, one of the most brilliant of all the Beats that Kerouac knew in his days in the coffee shops and bars of 1950s New York City...To put it bluntly, an intellectual black and indigenous woman actually existed and was formative in the creation of at least one of the works of what some may call a great American writer" (Diamente). The paperback edition includes a glowing review paragraph from Kenneth Rexroth and a preface by Henry Miller, who declares, "Jack Kerouac has done something to our immaculate prose from which it may never recover."
Read more: Christina Diamente, "Walking with the Barefoot Beat: Alene Lee".
New York: Avon Publications, Inc, (1959). 8'' x 5.5''. Original pictorial wrappers. Avon T-302. 126 pages. Small tears to spine ends; small tear to margin of final leaf. Moderate edgewear. Pages lightly toned.
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