AFTER its discovery in 1992, by John Sampas, the executor of the Kerouac Estate, Jack Kerouac’s novel The Sea is My Brother has been published for the first time. Described by the author himself as being about ‘man’s simple revolt from society as it is, with the inequalities, frustrating and self-inflicted agonies’, the novel follows the life of Wesley Martin ‘who loved the sea with a strange, lonely love’, alongside other characters that Kerouac describes as ‘the vanishing American, the big free boy, the American Indian, the last of the pioneers, the last of the hoboes’.
Not published in the Kerouac’s lifetime, the cult author began this work after his tour as a Merchant Marine on the S.S. Dorchester in 1942; it was during this journey, that he kept a journal that contained the gruelling routine of life at sea. The journals have become short novels, produced from his experiences at sea.
The Sea is My Brother also contains many of Kerouac’s early writing and original copies of letters between Sebastian Sampas and himself from the early 1940s, as well as many photographs, poems and a self-portrait. Previous works by the author include the collaboration in 1945 with William Burroughs, And The Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, was published for the first time back in 2008.
The novel gives a deeper insight into the author’s life and coincides with a film version of his previously published, On The Road, which will be in UK cinema’s next year, directed by Walter Salles and staring Sam Riley and Kristen Stewart.
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