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What's Your Road, Man?

What's Your Road, Man?

Critical Essays on Jack Kerouac's On the Road

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Edited by Hilary Holladay and Robert Holton


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
232 pages, 6 x 9


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About the Book

The ten essays in this groundbreaking compilation cover a broad range of topics, employing a variety of approaches, including theoretical interpretations and textual and comparative analysis, to investigate such issues as race, class, gender, and sexuality, as well as the novel's historical and literary contexts. What's Your Road, Man? Critical Essays on Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" illustrates the richness of the critical work currently being undertaken on this vital American narrative.

Combining essays from renowned Kerouac experts and emerging scholars, What's Your Road, Man? draws on an enormous amount of research into the literary, social, cultural, biographical, and historical contexts of Kerouac's canonical novel. Since its publication in 1957, On the Road has remained in print and has continued to be one of the most widely read twentieth-century American novels.

Several essays enhance understanding of the book by comparing it with alternative versions of the text, like the original 1951 scroll manuscript and some of Kerouac's other novels, and with works by Kerouac's contemporaries such as Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. Further studies explore ethnicity, identity, and the novel's place in American literature as well as its relevance to twenty-first century readers.

On the Road has inspired readers for more than fifty years, and the new research included in What's Your Road, Man? introduces fresh perspectives on this classic work of American literature. Editors Hilary Holladay and Robert Holton have successfully woven little-known material with new understandings of familiar topics that will enlighten current and future generations of Kerouac enthusiasts and scholars for years to come.


Hilary Holladay, a professor of English and the director of the Jack and Stella Kerouac Center for American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, is the author of Wild Blessings: The Poetry of Lucille Clifton.

Robert Holton is a professor of English and associate dean of graduate studies at Carleton University. His most recent book is On the Road: Jack Kerouac's Ragged American Journey.


"What's Your Road, Man? shows how pertinent Kerouac's On the Road is to current critical concerns and functions as a compendium of current debates about Kerouac and the Beats."— James T. Jones, author of Jack Kerouac's Duluoz Legend: The Mythic Form of an

Autobiographical Fiction