17.1.11

Carolyn Cassady on the Beat Generation

Cassady shares her memories of Ginsberg, Kerouac, Burroughs and life with the Beats
Neal Cassady (left) and Jack Kerouac (right)
The Guardian interviews Carolyn Cassady about Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs. She also answers questions on what it was like to be married to Neal Cassidy, the inspiration behind Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac's 1957 novel, On the Road:
When you think of the Beats, you think of free sex and flaming sunsets, of bulbous '49 Hudsons easing towards the horizon on dusty highways that seem to go on for ever. You don't think about roundabouts, recycling centres and Rover estates. But that's what you get in Bracknell and it's in Bracknell, near Windsor, that one of the last surviving members of the Beat generation lives.

Carolyn Cassady opens the door to her pretty green cottage with a lipsticked grin and a shy handshake. She's 87, but looks a decade younger, dressed neatly in a lavender fleece with matching moccasins. The second wife of Beat muse Neal Cassady – the man immortalised as Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac's 1957 classic On the Road – Carolyn moved to London in 1983, and relocated here 10 years later. "I was brought up English," she says. "My parents were anglophiles and we had a whole lot of English customs at home. I made the break and I much prefer it." [Read more]
Source: Lauren Cochrane, 'Neal Cassady: Drug-taker. Bigamist. Family man', The Guardian, 16 January 2011

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