The Dharma Bums Additional Summary

Jack Kerouac


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Amburn, Ellis. Subterranean Kerouac: The Hidden Life of Jack Kerouac. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998. A fascinating biography by one of Kerouac’s editors, showing how his ambivalent feelings about his sexuality influenced his work. Includes detailed notes and bibliography.

Cassady, Carolyn. Heart Beat: My Life with Jack and Neal. Berkeley, Calif.: Creative Arts, 1976. Chronicles Cassady’s relationship with Kerouac from 1952 through 1953, and the ménage à trois between the Cassadys and Kerouac. Reprinted here are letters of Allen Ginsberg, Kerouac, Neal Cassady, and Carolyn Cassady.

Cassady, Carolyn. Off the Road: My Years with Cassady, Kerouac, and Ginsberg. New York: William Morrow, 1990. A personal account, with many anecdotes and recollections written from Carolyn Cassady’s perspective. Important for its inside view of the Beat movement.

Feied, Frederick. No Pie in the Sky: The Hobo as American Cultural Hero in the Works of Jack London, John Dos Passos, and Jack Kerouac. Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel Press, 1964.

Hart, John E. “Future Hero in Paradise: Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums.” Critique: Studies in Modern Fiction 14, no. 3 (1973): 52-62.

Hull, Keith N. “A Dharma Bum Goes West to Meet the East.” Western American Literature 11, no. 4 (1977): 321-329.

Nicosia, Gerald. Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac. New York: Grove Press, 1983. A comprehensive, biographical account of Kerouac’s life. Highly regarded for background information on Kerouac and the process of his writing.

Rexroth, Kenneth. “San Francisco’s Mature Bohemians.” The Nation 184 (February 23, 1957): 159-162.

Turner, Steve. Angelheaded Hipster: A Life of Jack Kerouac. New York: Viking, 1996. Not as authoritative as the Amburn, but copiously illustrated and with anecdotes that help illuminate the novels.

Tytell, John. “The Beat Generation and the Continuing American Revolution.” American Scholar 42 (Spring, 1973): 308-317.