Tracking an Author: Joyce Johnson

In 2007, Joyce Johnson did an interview with Laura Barton for The Guardian about navigating the 1950s as the girlfriend of a huge novelist and as an aspiring writer, and how that role overshadowed her own work. In this interview and in many others, Johnson heavily references Kerouac, which Barton notes. Johnson recounts their relationship, most of which is mentioned in her memoirs, but is still very interesting and generous to her listeners. As I finish reading about Johnson’s life and her work, this interview sums it up nicely. Johnson is talented and passionate, and determined to live outside of the shadow Kerouac cast on her life and her success. Even in 2007, she was still working to be known apart from her relationship with Kerouac. All of her work has been well reviewed, but many people still only know her in the context of her writing about her former boyfriend. I hope that changes at some point.

Barton, Laura. “Interview: Joyce Johnson, former girlfriend of Jack Kerouac.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 11 Oct. 2007

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