This year marks the 50th anniversary of Jack Kerouac's On the Road (you can see him reading from the novel on The Steve Allen Show, here). Of course, with the celebration comes some controversy. The NY Sun reports:
The author of a noted Kerouac biography, Memory Babe, Gerald Nicosia, is holding a press conference in Manhattan today, where he will claim that Viking Penguin has been removing his name from books it publishes on Kerouac and other Beat writers, at the request of the executor of the Kerouac estate, John Sampas.
Mr. Nicosia told the Sun that he was subject to a "blacklist" and "censorship," which he believes are in part a response to his having supported a lawsuit in 1994 by Kerouac's daughter, Jan Kerouac, who had sued the relatives of Jack Kerouac's third wife and widow, Stella Sampas, including her brother, the estate's executor, Mr. Sampas.
Nicosia mentioned there would be "mountains of evidence" and press packets available today, however wouldn't go in to what would be provided prior to his press conference.
Sampas, Kerouac's brother-in-law, suggests that Nicosia is doing this for publicity and labels him as a "stalker of the Kerouac estate, especially me, and has been for many years." The Sun has a list of disputes the two have had throughout the years. Friends of Kerouac, however, say this is a year to celebrate the author. On that note, the "scroll" manuscript of On the Road will be on display beginning November 9th at the New York Public Library, which bought most of Kerouac's archive in 2001. And last year it was reported that this year The Box Theater would put on the first production of Jack Kerouac's "Beat Generation" (the play he wrote in 1957), though there haven't been any more mentions of that since.
The Sun also notes that "a co-owner of St. Mark's Bookshop, Terry McCoy, said Kerouac, Ginsberg, and William Burroughs have always been among their top selling authors. He said the Beat writers' books are kept in a special section near the information desk, since they are among the most readily stolen and resold to street vendors in Greenwich Village."
Photo of On The Road scroll via Thomas Hawk's Flickr.