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Joyce Johnson
Joyce Johnson by David Shankbone.jpg
Johnson at the 2007 Brooklyn Book Festival
Born Joyce Glassman
Queens, New York,
United States
Occupation Author
Nationality United States
Notable works Door Wide Open: A Beat Love Affair in Letters, 1957-1958

Joyce Johnson (born 1935) is an American author of fiction and nonfiction who won a National Book Critics Circle Award for her memoir Minor Characters about her relationship with Jack Kerouac.

Personal life[edit]

Born Joyce Glassman to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York, Joyce was raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a few blocks from the apartment of Joan Vollmer Adams where William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac lived from 1944-46. She was a child actress and appeared in the Broadway production of I Remember Mama, which she writes about in her 2004 memoir Missing Men.

At the age of 13, Joyce rebelled against her controlling parents and began hanging out in Washington Square. She matriculated at Barnard College at 16, failing her graduation by one class. It was at Barnard that she became friends with Elise Cowen (briefly Allen Ginsberg's lover) who introduced her to the Beat circle. Ginsberg arranged for Glassman and Kerouac to meet on a blind date while she was working on her first novel, Come and Join the Dance, which was sold to Random House when she was only twenty-one and appeared five years later in 1962 just as she was starting her long career as a book editor.

Joyce was married briefly to abstract painter James Johnson, who was killed in a motorcycle accident. From her second marriage to painter Peter Pinchbeck, which ended in divorce, came her son, Daniel Pinchbeck, also an author.


Jerry Yulsman's photograph of Joyce Johnson and Jack Kerouac outside the Kettle of Fish Bar in Greenwich Village during the 1950s.

Johnson's fiction and articles have appeared in Harper's, Harper's Bazaar, New York, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and the Washington Post.

In Minor Characters (Houghton Mifflin, 1983), the book she is best known for, she looked back at the years 1957 and 1958, the time when Kerouac rose from obscurity to fame with the publication of On the Road. Johnson brought attention to the experiences of women associated with the Beat Generation writers. Her memoir won a 1983 National Book Critics Circle Award.Other memoirs and anthologies have since been published by and about women of the Beat Generation.[1]

Johnson has published three novels: Come and Join the Dance (by Joyce Glassman) (Atheneum, 1962). Bad Connections (Putnam, 1978), and In the Night Cafe (Dutton, 1987). Come and Join the Dance has been recognized by scholars such as Ann Douglas, Nancy Grace and Ronna Johnson as the first Beat novel by a woman. She has also published a work of investigative journalism: What Lisa Knew: The Truths and Lies of the Steinberg Case (Putnam, 1989).

From 1983 through 1997, she taught writing at Columbia University's MFA program. She has also taught at the New School, the Breadloaf Writers Conference, the University of Vermont and New York University., and at the 92nd Street YMHA.

"The Children's Wing," the penultimate chapter of her novel In The Night Cafe (1989), was a first-prize O. Henry Award recipient. In 1992 she received an NEA grant.

The Johnson and Kerouac correspondence, collected in Door Wide Open: A Beat Love Affair in Letters, 1957-1958 (2000) was followed by another memoir, Missing Men (2004). And in 2012, she published her biography of Kerouac The Voice Is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac. Based on her research in the Kerouac Archive in the Berg Collection, it is the first biography to explore the far-reaching influence that Kerouac's Franco American background had upon his life and work. Johnson also carefully traces the development of Kerouac's unique first person voice from his earliest writings through late 1951, when a series of breakthroughs led to the writing of Visions of Cody, the book he considered his masterpiece. Though some critics have erroneously called this book a memoir, Johnson ends Kerouac's story six years before she met him, and makes only a few relevant references to the relationship they had from January 1957 through October 1958.



  1. ^ See Hettie Jones for example.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joyce_Johnson — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
337293 videos foundNext > 

NYSL: Joyce Johnson on "The Voice is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac"

http://www.nysoclib.org/notes/2013/voice_all.html The award-winning author of Minor Characters presents a groundbreaking portrait of Kerouac as a young artis...

Videopoem Presents Joyce Johnson

Remembering Joyce Johnson

{Wedding} Aatavious & Joyce Johnson | Coker Ranch | Lancaster, SC | 5.17.14

Congratulation to Aatavious & Joyce Johnson on their union on May 17, 2014 at the Coker Ranch In Lancaster, SC. "What Is Life Without Memories..." www.Timele...

I Found Joy by Joyce Johnson

Joyce Johnson and Friends Band.

Standing on the Shoulders by Joyce Johnson Rouse (ASCAP) live at piano

Composer of "Standing on the Shoulders" plays and sings the popular anthem for members of a Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution chapter, honoring t...

Joyce Jonathan - Je ne sais pas (Clip officiel)

http://shop.mymajorcompany.com/ iTunes : http://clk.tradedoubler.com/click?p=23753&a=1703538&g=17141514&td_partnerId=2003&url=http://itunes.apple.com/fr/albu...

Joyce Johnson

Candidate, City Council 7.

"Leilani" At Bert's Warehouse Theatre - Cynthia Brown & Joyce Johnson 8-22-2011

"Leilani" At Bert's Warehouse Theatre - Cynthia Brown & Joyce Johnson 8-22-2011 By Wayne Norman.

I Came Through Another Storm by Joyce Johnson and Friends

I Came Through Another Storm by Joyce Johnson and Friends Band.

337293 videos foundNext > 

674 news items

The Chattanoogan
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 13:00:00 -0800

She was born in Columbia, TN to the late William and Blanche Johnson. Joyce retired from Memorial Hospital after 33 years of service there and was a member of First Bible Methodist Church in Chattanooga. She was also preceded in death by her sister ...

The Chattanoogan

The Chattanoogan
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 11:00:20 -0800

She was preceded in death by her parents, Walter D. and Carrie McCalla; and sisters, Sue Ramsey, Joyce Johnson, and Charlotte Marie McCalla. She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Kenneth Adkins; daughter Vicki (James) Goldsmith of Chattanooga ...

Monroe News Star

Monroe News Star
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 09:50:23 -0800

Birthdays. Carline Durham; Mae Roberts, 80; David Sellers; Mallory Ann-Marie Williams, 5, West Monroe. Belated. Tommie Watson. Belated Anniversary. Eric and LaShawnda Taylor, married 4 years. Wednesday. RSEA meeting. Annual meeting Monroe ...

Chicago Daily Herald

Chicago Daily Herald
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:07:30 -0800

Video: Generations share technology. Heritage Lakes Elementary School fifth-grader Jessie Housour works with Joyce Johnson as Carol Stream Elementary District 93 students help residents learn about technology at the Windsor Park retirement community.
Stockton Record
Tue, 24 Feb 2015 00:23:22 -0800

Moonlighters: Darrylle Ferrara 184, Joyce Johnson (164) 185, Dee Colen 189. Tuesday Women: Linda Black 225. Thursday Men's Classic: Andrew Carteret 299/727, Bob Morris 245/703, Doug Leeworthy 694, James Vosburg 278, Henry Stacher 255/697, ...


Fri, 20 Feb 2015 10:23:28 -0800

The judge spoke about a letter written by Robert and Joyce Johnson, which said that they were fortunate to know only of two Maureen's sides. He said that while they meant it as a positive, it showed her duality. “Obviously there were some serious ...

Sun Sentinel

Sun Sentinel
Wed, 18 Feb 2015 12:44:55 -0800

... was done over a phone interview with the Sun Sentinel with our special sub-group of the Broward Beekeepers Association "Bee About It!" group members: Jake Weinberg, Dara Kustler, Dan Novak, John Rochester,Ivan Baratz,Sara Babb & Joyce Johnson.


Wed, 18 Feb 2015 20:07:30 -0800

"We have a lot of children in this neighborhood, small kids and little girls," said Joyce Johnson. Read More: NewsChannel 8,; Crime,; Maryland,; Maryland Crime,; Howard County,; Howard County Police,; Prince George's County,; Vincent Hill,; Kik,; Apps, ...

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