March 23, 1948

Kerouac Writes First Novel


On this day in 1948, Lowell native Jack Kerouac happily noted in his diary that he had written 2500 words. If he could keep up this pace, he would finish his first novel in a matter of weeks. The highly autobiographical The Town and the City was published in 1950, the same year he began writing On the Road, the novel that earned him the title "Father of the Beat Generation." By the time he died at the age of 47 Jack Kerouac had published 14 books. On the Road is Kerouac's most-read work today; it is widely considered one of the most important and influential American novels of the twentieth century, and Jack Kerouac is celebrated as one of Lowell's favorite sons.


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