Wake Up: A Life of the Buddha

Wake Up: A Life of the Buddha

Wake Up: A Life of the Buddha

Wake Up: A Life of the Buddha


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“[Wake Up] contributes significantly to the fascinating picture of Kerouac’s spirituality, revealing the depth of Kerouac’s identification with the Buddha.”—The Beat Review

“The long, streaming style makes the book majestic and something that you absorb in one sitting, like a symphony.”—Robert A. F. Thurman, from the Introduction
In the mid-1950s, lifelong Catholic Jack Kerouac became fascinated with Buddhism, an interest that had a profound impact on his ideas of spirituality and later found expression in such works as Mexico City Blues and The Dharma Bums. Originally written in 1955, Wake Up is Kerouac’s retelling of the life of Prince Siddhartha Gotama, who as a young man abandoned his wealthy family and comfortable home for a lifelong search for enlightenment.
Distilled from a wide variety of canonical scriptures, Wake Up serves as both a penetrating account of the Buddha’s life and a concise primer on the principal teachings of Buddhism. This edition includes an insightful introduction by Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman addressing Kerouac’s engagement with Buddhism in his work and his life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143116011
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/27/2009
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 660,263
Product dimensions: 4.70(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

About The Author
Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922, the youngest of three children in a Franco-American family. He attended local Catholic and public schools and won a scholarship to Columbia University in New York City, where he first met Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs. His first novel, The Town and the City, appeared in 1950, but it was On the Road, published in 1957 and memorializing his adventures with Neal Cassady, that epitomized to the world what became known as the “Beat generation” and made Kerouac one of the most best-known writers of his time. Publication of many other books followed, among them The Dharma Bums, The Subterraneans, and Big Sur. Kerouac considered all of his autobiographical fiction to be part of “one vast book,” The Duluoz Legend. He died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969, at the age of forty-seven.

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"[Wake Up] contributes significantly to the fascinating picture of Kerouac's spirituality."
-Jonah Raskin, The Beat Review

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