Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Abbreviations

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xviii

Not long ago, a colleague asked what I was working on. “Beat women writers,” I said. She replied, “I didn’t know there were any.” Her comment, variants of which I hear with some frequency, echoes general assumptions about women (or the lack of women) within Beat literary cultures...

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Introduction: Writing from Nowhere

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pp. 1-14

The Beat movement—which emerged after World War II, flourished in the 1950s, and continued through the 1960s—is characterized by disengagement from the bourgeois mainstream and by rebellion against the conventionality, conformity, and consumerism of the postwar United...

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1. Intertextual Lives: Reading the Autobiographical Texts of Women Writers of the Beat Era

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pp. 15-31

Women’s qualified, contingent positions vis-à- vis the Beat movement are both product and expression of intertextual exchange—the discourses, dialogues, and debates out of which “Beat” materializes as an intelligible category of identification. Male voices defined the Beat Generation in the...

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2. Truthiness: Diane di Prima’s Memoirs of a Beatnik and Recollections of My Life as a Woman

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pp. 32-58

The title of Diane di Prima’s Memoirs of a Beatnik (1969) invites a set of specific, if contradictory expectations. Its first word—“memoirs”—extends the twin promises of significance and truthfulness. Memoirs are autobiographies written (until fairly recently) by public figures and...

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3. Diversification: Bonnie Bremser’s Troia: Mexican Memoirs and Beat Chronicles

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pp. 59-81

Like Memoirs of a Beatnik, Bonnie Bremser’s Troia: Mexican Memoirs (1969) is an odd, off-kilter kind of autobiography. But in contrast to di Prima’s confident challenge to the already- known Beat narrative, Bremser’s life- writing manifests more ambivalent Beat identifications and disidentifications...

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4. Consociation: ruth weiss’s DESERT JOURNAL, FOR THESE WOMEN OF THE BEAT, and CAN’T STOP THE BEAT

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pp. 82-104

At some point in the 1960s (she cannot say exactly when), the San Francisco jazz poet ruth weiss began spelling her name in all lowercase letters as an antiauthoritarian gesture of “rebellion against law and order” (“S” 69).1 This stance, as Nancy Grace notes, “was not her only form of rebellion...

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5. DISPLACEMENTS: Joanne Kyger’s The Japan and India Journals and The Tapestry and the Web

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pp. 105-135

In January 1960, Joanne Kyger sailed from San Francisco to join the Beat poet Gary Snyder in Kyoto, Japan, where he was studying Zen Buddhism. Having abandoned her college career three years earlier to establish herself as a “poet of the second San Francisco renaissance,” when Kyger boarded...

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6. Cross-Textuality: Joyce Johnson’s Minor Characters and Door Wide Open

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pp. 136-160

Penguin’s 1999 edition of Minor Characters (1983) attributes two different subtitles to Joyce Johnson’s memoir—A Beat Memoir, which appears on the front cover, morphs into A Young Woman’s Coming-of-Age in the Beat Orbit of Jack Kerouac on the title page (fig. 10). Other editions carry...

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7. CONTEXTUALITY: Hettie Jones’s How I Became Hettie Jones and Drive

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pp. 161-186

The front cover of How I Became Hettie Jones (1990) is crowded, virtually overflowing with representations of its subject (fig. 13).1 It presents three images of Hettie Jones—in the first, she appears at the rear of a group photograph of Beat writers and their spouses; the second shows her playing...

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CODA: Rerouting Beat Nowheres

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pp. 187-192

I began Women Writers of the Beat Era: Autobiography and Intertextuality with a promise to avoid constructing a one-size-fits-all model to account for Beat-associated women’s strategies of self-representation. Over the course of this study, I have, however, pointed to a number of shared priorities...

Notes

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pp. 193-212

Works Cited

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pp. 213-220

Index

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pp. 221-228

Recent Books in the Series

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pp. 229-230