The Beat Goes On - "On the Road" at 50

Series produced by 90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR News Station

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PRX default Series image 

Journalist Charles Sennott retraces Jack Kerouac's cross-country journey of discovery

Fifty years after the publication of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road," the definitive novel of the Beat Generation still enthralls readers with its call to the road. Charles Sennott of The Boston Globe heard the invitation for the second time in his life, and took it.

This five-part series begins in Lowell, Massachusetts, which has come to hold Kerouac in the same high regard as the author had for the city of his birth.

Following the footsteps of Sal Paradise in "On the Road," Sennott travels across the heartland meeting fascinating characters along the way. He learns how the novel speaks to today's generations, discovers what remains of Kerouac's America, tries his hand at hitchhiking, and savors the "holiness" of pie and the spirituality of life on the road.

Finally arriving in San Francisco, Sennott is unexpectedly introduced to Carolyn Cassady, an intimate of Kerouac, and the widow of Neal Cassady, upon whom the character Dean Moriarty was based. In a rare interview, Cassady, herself the model for the character Camille in "On the Road," offers revealing glimpses into Kerouac's life and work.

This five-part series includes brief readings from "On the Road" and the sound-rich production is enhanced with a score taken from classic bebop and 50's jazz tracks.

Each of the five parts in this series is designed as a drop-in to NPR's Morning Edition segment E. Included with each part are scripts for suggested host intros and tags.

Charles Sennott is a veteran foreign correspondent and author who has covered the Middle East and Central Asia for most of the last 15 years. Currently, Sennott is a senior writer for The Boston Globe. Hide full description

Fifty years after the publication of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road," the definitive novel of the Beat Generation still enthralls readers with its call to the road. Charles Sennott of The Boston Globe heard the invitation for the second time in his life, and took it. This five-part series begins in Lowell, Massachusetts, which has come to hold Kerouac in the same high regard as the author had for the city of his birth. Following the footsteps of Sal Paradise in "On the Road," Sennott travels across the heartland meeting fascinating characters along the way. He learns how the novel speaks to today's generations, discovers what remains of Kerouac's America, tries his hand at hitchhiking, and savors the "holiness" of pie and the spirituality of life on the road. Finally arriving in San... Show full description


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