The new novel by Anthony McCarten, the master storyteller of fascinating changes of identity, is a tale of false and real heroes and about the challenge of tolerating doubts in oneself.
He is a shadow of his former self, drinking himself to death in Florida: Jack Kerouac, the beatnik idol who once cannibalized his friend Neal Cassady’s life to make the cult novel On the Road. One day a student of literature knocks on his door out of the blue. Her dream is to write down his life story, to be his first biographer. Jack refuses and yet he lets Jan’s admiration seduce him into looking back. A trip from which no one comes back unharmed. How much of our life is really our own and how much is only borrowed, emulated?
»Reading Kerouac taught me how to write. I knew his angels and demons. He is the hero of American Letters: a story that seeks to ask ›Who am I?‹, or perhaps even ›Who is anyone?‹.«