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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 American
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.
421890 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...

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Joyce Johnson and Friends sing "Prayer Answered Once Again," from their latest CD.

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54 news items

New Pittsburgh Courier

New Pittsburgh Courier
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:41:15 -0700

A FAMILY AFFAIR —S & T Chocolate staff, William Marlow Williams, Lon English, Joyce Johnson and Ryan Flowers stand with Theresa and Garl Germany displaying their chocolate products. (Photos by Diane I., Daniels). Some people are known for having a ...

The Miami Times

The Miami Times
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:22:30 -0700

Terri was the daughter of Juanita Wise Kelly and the late Donnie Kelly and the paternal grandchild of the late Orilda and Joyce Johnson Kelly. Old-time Miamians may remember that the deceased paternal great-grand parents were Zachariah and Martha ...

Purdue Exponent

Purdue Exponent
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 07:03:45 -0700

Rock Steady Boxing teaches Parkinson's survivors to fight the good fight By HALEY CHECKLEY Special Projects Editor Purdue Exponent. “People describe it as being trapped in their bodies,” said Joyce Johnson, executive director of Rock Steady Boxing.
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:33:45 -0700

This year, honorees Seamen's Bank, Joyce Johnson, Robert Duffy and Jarrod Beck will be recognized for their contributions to the Provincetown community. Proceeds from this important fund-raising event help to underwrite the Museum's exhibitions ...
Orlando Sentinel
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 07:03:45 -0700

He will be playing with his quintet, playing songs that Jack loved, and we will have some special guest readers, including Joyce Johnson, who is Kerouac's biographer, but also a very close friend, and Michael Shannon, the actor from 'Boardwalk Empire ...
Creston News Advertiser
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 09:29:08 -0700

“She's really compassionate about college life and UNI, and she ended up winning,” Johnson said. “No matter the result, I was really happy she got it. She wanted it, and she deserved it.” Johnson, daughter of Dave and Joyce Johnson of Creston, worked ...
NBC2 News
Sat, 27 Sep 2014 15:07:30 -0700

"The community that I live in are very much for this effort," Estero resident Joyce Johnson said. If the incorporation passes, the community will become the Village of Estero on January 1. They would elect a town council in March. The ECCL says ...
Creston News Advertiser
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 11:45:00 -0700

Jill Johnson, daughter of Dave and Joyce Johnson of Creston, was crowned Creston High School's 2009 homecoming queen. Jill's escort was Spencer Bakerink. Panthers won the Homecoming football game against Glenwood 14-6. 10 years ago. More than ...

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