Kerouac’s Carolina correspondence

• excerpt from September 9, 1948 letter from Ozone Park, Queens address to Allen Ginsberg:

I’m going to North Carolina in a few weeks to run my brother-in-law’s parking lot and woo a nurse and have a rest from this awful shallow literary world I have to do business with . . . 

• excerpt from July 19, 1955 letter from Rocky Mount to Malcolm Cowley:

Guess what I have proliferating in my garden here? New Hampshire midget watermelons! Delicious! Also red tomatoes hiding everywhere underneath jungle like vast tomato plants.

• excerpt from December 30, 1955 letter from Rocky Mount to Gary Snyder:

Here I am (after 2400 mile truck ride hitch thru Mexicali Mexico and senorita whores) in North Carolina winter for New Years and still have half a bag full of peanuts & raisins! Am writing new books, two, one a modern prose novel about my brother and the other a new (second) explanation of Buddhism, without using Buddhist terms.

Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Butler Library, Columbia University