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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 work(s) 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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352181 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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"A Global Dialogue about Cultural Diplomacy, National Security and Global Risks" A Lecture by Admiral Joyce M. Johnson, Former Diretor, Health & Safety for U...

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

The Joining of the Rain Drops | Joyce Johnson

July 15th, 2013 - Joyce Johnson discusses how the member of the Forward Together Movement represent individual raindrops that make up a mighty ocean.

Joyce Johnson Gang - Booze Money Bitches and Drugs

totally a joke. bored at 4 in the morning. lyrics: I BALL LIKE A WHITE KID, Brawl Like a white kid, walk around the halls in the mall like a white kid I BALL...

Joyce Johnson: Restorative Justice

Joyce Johnson of Beloved Community Church in Greensboro, N.C. fought for justice in the face of all manner of adversity in her community. She is committed to...

352181 videos foundNext > 

64 news items

Wicked Local Provincetown
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 05:45:10 -0700

“Our hearts are heavy as we announce the passing of Joyce Johnson, the founder of Castle Hill,” says a statement on the art center web site. “She inspired so many people, touched so many lives, interviewed important people and never gave up on what she ...
Wicked Local Chatham
Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:59:55 -0700

“Our hearts are heavy as we announce the passing of Joyce Johnson, the founder of Castle Hill, she inspired so many people, touched so many lives, interviewed important people and never gave up her on what she believed. We will miss her but we will ...

Washington Post

Washington Post
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:11:15 -0700

The fund received $5,000 apiece from Robert M. and Joyce Johnson of Johnson Group films; Bobbie Kilberg, president and chief executive of the Northern Virginia Technology Council; Juliette Reidy, a GOP donor from Virginia Beach; and investment banker ...
Stacey Page Online
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 12:41:15 -0700

He is survived by a son: Ian Johnson, Fishers; his parents; grandmother: Joy Johnson, Nappanee; and his former wife: Joyce Johnson, Fishers. Visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Fishers United Methodist Church. A memorial ...
The Daily News Journal
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 19:27:49 -0700

Joyce Johnson, left, president of the Rutherford County Historical Society, and Rutherford County Historian Greg Tucker, right, talk with Murfreesboro Mayor Tommy Bragg as the mayor looks over a copy of Tucker's new book, 'Rutherford Ramblings,' Friday ...
New Jersey Hills
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:01:41 -0700

It was a time of national conformity and to people like Joyce Johnson, boring to the bone. That was about to change when Johnson went on a blind date at the Howard Johnson restaurant on 8th Street in Greenwich Village. The matchmaker was the poet Allen ...
Barnstable Patriot
Thu, 10 Apr 2014 19:48:45 -0700

When Joyce Johnson visited the Patriot's office in Hyannis a few years ago, she was drawn to a framed poster of Donald Beal's “Harbor Song,” the 2009 Pops by the Sea commemorative painting. Its centerpiece is a rose, and Joyce said, “Don't' forget to ...

Barnstable Patriot

Barnstable Patriot
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:18:45 -0700

One of these people was Joyce Johnson, who passed away quietly last week. She lived a quiet life in many ways, but the work she did was far from quiet. She built an arts center from a dream and she built a home from rocks. She was a sculptor, a writer ...

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