Helen Weaver: The Awakener

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-11-40-35-amHelen Weaver’s book The Awakener: A Memoir of Kerouac and the 50s is now in stores, after nearly 20 years in the making. Weaver, whom Kerouac immortalized as Ruth Heaper in Desolation Angels, was one of the “two Helens” who awoke one snowy, cold December morning in 1956, to Allen, Peter and Jack freshly returned from Mexico with no place to stay. More details and information at City Lights – here

Steve Silberman’s written an informative review for SFGate/SF Chronicle – here


  1. If you wish you'd known Jack Kerouac, read this book! If you want more information about him, read Ann Charters's biography. We get to know Kerouac much better because of Helen Weaver's telling us so much about her relationship with a brilliant, uncompromising, frustrating man that she loved. This is no ex-lover's revenge or publicist's wallpaper. It's insight gained by years, tears, and countless retellings of the tale to oneself. There's also plenty of Ginsberg, and cameo appearances by Gregory Corso, Lucien Carr, and others of Helen and Jack's circle.

    I can't remember a more enlightening or better written memoir. Anyone who follows this website will want to read it.

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