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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.
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708 news items

Fri, 27 Nov 2015 02:18:45 -0800

The Supreme Court Justice-In-Chambers, Kabineh Ja'neh, on Wednesday, ordered Madam Tamba and some of her principal deputies, including Assistant Commissioner for Human Resource, Joyce Johnson-Dolo, to be arrested. The High Court's arrest order ...


Wed, 25 Nov 2015 19:56:15 -0800

Also ordered arrested by the high court are all deputies Counsel General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and Mrs. Joyce Johnson Dolo, Assistant Commissioner for Human Resources. Associate Justice-In Chamber Kabineh Ja'neh issued the order ...

Mountain News

Mountain News
Thu, 26 Nov 2015 10:33:45 -0800

27 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vendors will have handmade items from stained glass and embroidery to jams, jellies and jewelry. Joyce Johnson, who will be displaying her stained glass for the 23rd year, said ...

Sampson Independent

Sampson Independent
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 02:52:30 -0800

Joyce Johnson, secretary for the Mingo Baptist Spanish Mission committee, takes a turn at the shovel during Sunday's groundbreaking ceremony. ×. Photo. Purchase Photos. Joyce Johnson, secretary for the Mingo Baptist Spanish Mission committee, takes a ...
Stockton Record
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 21:03:45 -0800

Moonlighters: Joyce Johnson 201. Tracy Ford West Laners: Chris Sory 267, Shedrick Jackson 256, Curtis Harris 245, Bobbie Chan 241, Dennis Bathe 279 730. Tracy Ford Belles & Beaus: Frank Quijalvo 236, Ronnie Arnold Jr. 246, Dave Johnston 246, ...
The Chattanoogan
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 06:03:45 -0800

... Ellen Barski and her husband, Michael, Laurel Hanna and her husband, Patrick and Alicia Porterfield and her husband, Eric; grandchildren, Davis, Luke, Thomas, Amelia, Adele and Lila; a sister, Joyce Johnson, of Englewood; and a large extended family.
Front Page Africa
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 18:38:16 -0800

... Court Justice In-Chamber, Kabineh Ja'neh, has issued another notice of assignment citing the Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and all deputies, including Assistant Commissioner for Human Resource, Joyce Johnson Dolo.

Fergus Falls Daily Journal

Fergus Falls Daily Journal
Tue, 17 Nov 2015 09:38:51 -0800

Survivors include her three sons, H. Douglas (Ardyce) Johnson of Blaine, Charles R. (Peggy) Johnson of Janesville and Larry A. (Joyce) Johnson of Estero, FL; five grandchildren, Scott (Sue) Johnson, Judy (Paul) Vijums, Jeffrey (Celina Blandford ...

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