Beat poet and author Jack Kerouac’s first novel, entitled The Sea is My Brother, has up till now never been seen in print. Thanks to his brother-in-law, however, it now finally makes it to publication thisweek some 40 years since Kerouac’s death after a discovery in the author’s personal archive.
Up till now sparse knowledge of the novel’s existence had been traced through brief references in Kerouac’s letters, but the size and scope of the volume proved unexpected. The book, written when Kerouac was 20, is based on his experiences as a merchant seaman and and features correspondence between the author and his close friend Sebastian Sampas.
The book’s editor, Dawn Ward, commented on the significance of the find, explaining that the publication of this lost work "is really quite important as it shows how Jack developed his writing process... [he] opens up and shows a side to him that we don't normally see in his books."