Jean-Louis "Jack" Kerouac (March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American writer (of French-Canadian descent) associated with Creator/TheBeatGeneration and best known for writing ''Literature/OnTheRoad'', an autobiographical novel describing Kerouac's travels with Neal Cassady. He also wrote ''The Dharma Bums'', which details his adventures with fellow writer Gary Snyder.
Interesting note: For a major figure of literature in the English language, Kerouac came to the language rather late: he was raised in a French-speaking (or rather, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joual Joual]]''-speaking) household, didn't learn English until he was six, and wasn't confident speaking English until high school. Rather impressive, eh?[[note]]Other English literature writers who came to the language late include Creator/JosephConrad and Creator/VladimirNabokov[[/note]] He also wrote a few short stories in his native tongue, which have received increased attention since it was discovered that Kerouac had originally planned to write ''On the Road'' in French and actually produced an abortive manuscript of it before producing the famous version.
"Home I'll Never Be" and "On The Road" were both adapted to song by Music/TomWaits on his album ''Music/OrphansBrawlersBawlersAndBastards''.
!!Works by Jack Kerouac with their own pages:
* ''Literature/OnTheRoad'' (1957)
* ''Film/PullMyDaisy'' (1959) -- short film based on Kerouac's play ''Beat Generation''; Kerouac wrote the screenplay and starred
!!Other works by Jack Kerouac provide examples of:
* AuthorAvatar: Pretty much every protagonist in everything Kerouac ever published. Sal Paradise from ''Literature/OnTheRoad'' is Kerouac. Kerouac uses avatars in virtually all of his novels, although for legal reasons, the names are changed from book to book. As a result, in ''The Dharma Bums'', Kerouac is named Ray Smith, and in ''The Subterraneans'', he is named Leo Percepied. Virtually every other character is these books is a thinly-disguised avatar of one of Kerouac's friends or some prominent Beat Generation figure as well.
* RomanAClef: The vast majority of Kerouac's novels are simply retellings of things that happened to him and the other Beat writers, with the names changed (and some parts taken out, as the first draft of ''Literature/OnTheRoad'' reveals). ''On The Road'' and ''Visions of Cody'' focus on his best friend Neal Cassady, ''The Dharma Bums'' is about his adventures with Gary Snyder, ''And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks'' (written with Creator/WilliamSBurroughs) was about a mutual friend who murdered a lover, and so forth. It became so well-known that the publisher insisted he use different character names in each book to prevent legal trouble for anyone involved, but [[http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1385865 they can still be decoded easily]].