About the Books
In 1951, it was suggested to Jack Kerouac by his friend Ed White that he “sketch in the streets like a painter but with words.” In August of the following year, Kerouac began writing down prose poem “sketches” in small notebooks that he kept in the breast pockets of his shirts. For two years he recorded travels, observations, and meditations on art and life as he moved across America and down to Mexico and back. In 1957, Kerouac sat down with the fifteen handwritten sketch notebooks he had accumulated and typed them into a manuscript called Book of Sketches; he included a handful of new sketches he had written that year. Published now for the first time, and with an introduction by George Condo, Book of Sketches offers an intimate glimpse of Kerouac at a key period of his literary career.