Gerald Nicosia: One and Only – The Untold Story of On the Road

Beloved by both Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, Lu Anne Henderson’s story has never been told.

Lu Anne was a beautiful 15-year-old girl in Denver in 1945 when she met Neal, a fast-talking hurricane of male sexuality and vast promises. The two married, and soon they were hanging out with a group of would-be writers, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. But Neal and Jack initially didn’t like each other very much. Lu Anne taught them how to love each other—in effect, making the Beat Generation possible, as well as giving Kerouac material for one of the seminal novels of the 20th century, On the Road. One and Only traces the immense struggles of Lu Anne’s own life, which ranged from the split-up of her family to the ravages of abusive men, lingering illness, and the grief of losing the two most important men in her life.

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