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Tristessa is the name with which Kerouac baptized Esperanza Villanueva, a Catholic Mexican young woman, a prostitute and addict to certain drugs, whom he fell in love with during one of his stays in Mexico -a country that he frequently visited - by the middle of the fifties. Hero of the beat generation, the creator of a model of life that would be followed by thousands of young people in the entire world, a sui generis mystic, "Tristessa", which until recently was not known in Spanish and that was published in English, is one of Kerouac's fresher and better achieved works.

Jack Kerouac. In , enthused by bebop, the rebel attitude of his friend Neal Cassidy, and the throng of hobos, drug addicts and hustlers he encountered in New York, he decided to discover America and hitchhhike across the country.

His writing was openly autobiographical and he developed a style he referred to as 'spontaneous prose' which he used to record the experiences of the Beat Generation. He died in Our Lists. Buy from….

View all online retailers Find local retailers. Read more. Also by Jack Kerouac. Related titles. The Handmaid's Tale. To Kill A Mockingbird. A Gentleman in Moscow. Echo Burning. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Dragonfly In Amber. The Girl on the Train. The Heart's Invisible Furies. Tiger Men. The Bear and The Nightingale. The Cedar Tree. Norwegian Wood. Animal Farm. The Trip of a Lifetime. Ready Player One. The Light Between Oceans. Maybe the Horse Will Talk.

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Book Review — Tristessa by Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac is primarily lauded for his keen understanding of male friendship. But Kerouac is also a writer of exquisitely sad love stories, with complex and fully realized women: The Subterraneans , Maggie Cassidy , and Tristessa. In these tales we find to our surprise that Kerouac was one of the most romantic of American novelists. But that appeals to the writer in him, and the potential redeemer. This is a theme that echoes through the history of literature, profoundly romantic and profoundly foolish in the most tragic way. In Tristessa Kerouac brings that theme roaring into the modern age.


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Her story is heroin. And that's it. The substance of the narrative deals with descriptions of hallucination, riding around town in cabs, kitchen maneuvers, street surveying, people who have given up on life as we know it--more of "On the Road," "Visions of Cody" and other standard Kerouac songs. Inevitably, in sizing up the work of Kerouac and the other rhapsody Beat poets, the critic is numbed by their sustained orgy of screaming.

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