Kurt Landefeld, author of Jack's Memoirs: Off the Road, a Novel (Bottom Dog Press) will be at Mac's on Wednesday, November 12th at 7 p.m. Kurt will read from and talk about the book and this will be followed by an open mic poetry reading ---in a twist on the usual open mic, participants are asked to read from the works of the Beat poets.
If Jack Kerouac had lived, what would he have done and written? Kurt Landefeld opens this door for us in this fine fictional memoir.
"The real Jack Kerouac died of internal bleeding after years of hard drinking in 1969. But what if he had taken another tack, had recovered from his downward spiral? This unique novel bravely throws out this audacious conceit, and then methodically delivers. Framed on the familiar Kerouac travelogue-meditation device, the now even more underground Kerouac has grown a beard and disguised himself, embarking on a journey from his mother's house in Florida to the hills of North Carolina. His goal is Black Mountain College, the progressive college experiment that lasted a short 24 years after its founding in 1933. His visit to the library in rural Black Mountain fortuitously introduces him to one Ruth Parker, a former student now in her seventies, who sees something in this travel writer named Jack Moriarty. She eventually commissions him to undertake writing the story of Black Mount College with the caveat only of "capturing its spirit" and not some dry historical description. Our first person narrative reflects on the internal conflict of self-destructive and creative forces that rage within him, although his continued journey leads to a kind of emotional healing." Peter M. Fitzpatrick in The US Review of Books