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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Jack Kerouac's Hand-Drawn Cover for On the Road

Jack Kerouac was not impressed by the book cover slapped on his first novel by his publisher, Harcourt Brace. So when he began shopping his second novel, On the Road, Kerouac designed his own cover. He sent it to a potential publisher A.A. Wyn, with this note typed on it:

Dear Mr. Wyn: I submit this as my idea of an appealing commercial cover expressive of the book. The cover for “The Town and the City” was as dull as the title and the photo backflap. Wilbur Pippin’s photo of me is the perfect On the Road one … it will look like the face of the figure below.

More: Open Culture

Kerouac's drawing was never used but you can see all the front covers of various editions of On the Road here. I still have the Signet 1968 paperback.

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