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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.
345877 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

Build My Mansion Joyce Johnson and Friends Band

Joyce Johnson and Friends Band are on KWHB TV47 in Tulsa, OK, Sunday at 4:00 PM.

{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...

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.

Joyce M. Johnson, ICD Advisory Board Member

A Lecture by Rear Admiral Dr. Joyce M. Johnson, ICD Advisory Board Member; Rear Admiral (Ret.) U.S. Public Health Service The Annual Conference on Cultural D...

Sailing Toward Home by Joyce Johnson

Joyce Johnson and Friends.

345877 videos foundNext > 

1465 news items

Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:56:15 -0800

Westland resident Joyce Johnson brought loads of food — fried chicken, ham, rice and peas, potato salad and desserts — to Fire Station 1 on Tuesday. Firefighter/paramedics responded to Johnson's home Oct. 15 when her adult daughter Pamela, who had ...
Wicked Local Provincetown
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 10:47:40 -0800

When artist Joyce Johnson died on April 9 at the age of 84, many people both on and off the Cape mourned her passing and felt her loss profoundly. In the weeks that followed this sad occasion, Johnson's life and life's work were celebrated in ...

Cleveland Daily Banner

Cleveland Daily Banner
Sat, 20 Dec 2014 14:18:45 -0800

WESTSIDE RURITAN CLUB of Cleveland provided dinner and Christmas gifts to participants of the YMCA Comminity Action Project (Y-CAP). From left are Joyce Johnson, Devin Medeiras, Joshua Clark and Charity Eaves; middle row, Linda Melton, Sonaji ...

The Denver Post

The Denver Post
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 22:56:15 -0800

Six weeks ago, Joyce Johnson came on board as the full-time director, which she said symbolizes a launching point for the program. "It says to the world that this is a thing," she said. "There are tons of people already interested." Lynn Johnson ...
Mon, 13 Oct 2014 20:56:15 -0700

After relentlessly battling Parkinson's disease for nearly eight years, Joyce Johnson passed away on October 11, 2014. Joyce was born on June 21, 1947 to Percy E. and Velma Capson Jones. She grew up in Ogden and graduated from Ben Lomond High ...
Coshocton Tribune
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:32:42 -0800

... Steak 'n Stein or Local Bounty. The prizes are sponsored by Blue Star Mothers of Coshocton, Glazier Home Improvements and Five Point Chiropractic. Winners are Todd Endsley, Joyce Johnson, Danielle Ellis, Jodi Selders, Kala Moore and Tom Thompson.
Huffington Post
Mon, 15 Dec 2014 07:33:45 -0800

In an interview after the publication of her 2012 biography of Jack Kerouac, The Voice is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac, Joyce Johnson spoke to me about Neal's significant inspiration, but cautioned again the idea of giving him too much ...
Wicked Local Truro
Sat, 13 Dec 2014 04:45:08 -0800

Acquiring Edgewood Farm was a vision of Castle Hill founder Joyce Johnson, who died last spring at 84. At Johnson's urging, the Castle Hill board undertook a feasibility study that was funded by a $30,000 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council ...

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