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The author peels away layers of the Kerouac legend to show how, caught between two cultures and two languages, he forged a voice to contain his dualities. She shows how Kerouac's French Canadian background enriched his prose and gave him a unique outsider's vision of America. Kerouac exhibited a kind of idiosyncratic perfectionism, and his legendary "spontaneous" writing was preceded by a series of abandoned novels in which characters, episodes, and story lines were continually reshuffled. This work, a profile of the iconic author's early years offers insight into his efforts to bridge his dual cultural heritage while exploring how his French Canadian background enriched his prose.