Both a rediscovery and a celebration, this anthology gathers the beat period writings of 26 women. The work aims to provide a celebration of the female independence of mind and spirit.
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Although the Beat Generation was largely fueled by male camaraderie, the role of women in the movement has become a hot topic of late. Peabody's work, which follows close on the heels of Brenda Knight's Women of the Beat Generation (LJ 10/1/96), covers many of the same writers, including Joyce Johnson, Hettie Jones, Diane DiPrima, and Jan Kerouac. With the exception of Leo Skir's moving essay on Elise Cowen, however, there is minimal overlap because each work presents different selections by the featured authors. This anthology is the more valuable for showcasing work by less-celebrated writers like Bonnie Bremser and Fran Landesman and for providing excerpts from unpublished memoirs by two of Jack Kerouac's ex-wives, Frankie "Edie" Parker and Joan Haverty. This well-balanced anthology, which should focus more attention on Beat women, is recommended for all literature collections.?William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY
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