Young Adult, 184 pages
Lacewing Books, Aug. 12, 2014
When Paul Carpetti discovers “On the Road” in Greenwich Village while on a class trip to New York City, the world suddenly cracks open and he sees that life could be more than the college degree his mother is determined for him to achieve, a good job and, eventually, marriage to his girlfriend, Kathy. But upon his return, his mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer and his world falls apart.
Set in 1964, “Looking for Jack Kerouac” tells the story of how Paul’s dreams of a different life and his grief at the loss of his mother set him on a road trip with his rowdy friend, Duke, that includes a wild night on Music Row in Nashville, an all-too-real glimpse of glimpse of racism; and an encounter with a voluptuous mermaid named
Lorelei – landing him in St. Petersburg, where he finds real friendship and, in time, Jack
Kerouac. By then a ruined man, living with his mother, Kerouac is nothing like the person Paul has traveled so far to meet.
Yet, in the end, it is Kerouac who gives him the key that opens up the next phase of his life.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“A relatable protagonist managing a delicate balance between uncomfortable realities and fertile possibilities makes for a memorable, mature coming-of-age story.” - Publishers Weekly Starred Review
BEAT ICON JACK KEROUAC PLAYS NOTEWORTHY ROLE IN
AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR BARBARA SHOUP’S EIGHTH BOOK
A new young adult novel about self-discovery, “Looking for Jack Kerouac” releases August 12
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Author Barbara Shoup’s newest young adult novel, “Looking for Jack Kerouac” (August 12, Lacewing Books), whisked her away on a fascinating journey where legends came to life more than 1,000 miles away from her hometown.
With the help of a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission, Shoup embarked on a road trip that took her from central Indiana to St. Petersburg, Fla., the same adventure taken by the characters in her latest book. In “Looking for Jack Kerouac,” Paul Carpetti picks up a copy of “On the Road” by legendary beat novelist Jack Kerouac during a class trip in New York City. The book has a dramatic impact on Paul, changing his whole outlook on life. But when he returns home from the city, his world crumbles. It’s 1964, and Paul is dealing with the death of his mother. He needs to get away.
Paul hops in a car with his friend, Duke, and doesn’t look back. The two land in Florida where Paul finds Kerouac, who turns out to be nothing like the author he idolized. But, in the end, the writer helps Paul in his journey to self-discovery in an unexpected way.
“Looking for Jack Kerouac” is a coming-of-age tale with heart. Relying on notes she jotted down on her way to Florida’s Gulf Coast, as well as extensive research on Kerouac’s life, Shoup writes with intensity, passion and poignant reflection.
Shoup is the author seven other novels, including a School Library Journal Best Adult Book for Young Adults, “Vermeer’s Daughter,” and two others – “Wish You Were Here” and “Stranded in Harmony” – selected as American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults.
She is the executive director of the Indiana Writers Center and the co-author of “Novel Ideas: Contemporary Authors Share the Creative Process” (2000) and “Story Matters: Contemporary Short Story Writers Share the Creative Process (2006).”
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If I had to use one word to describe this book, that would be it!
An intriguing, emotional and thought-provoking coming of age tale that will lift your spirits while tugging at your heart the whole way through. Shoup delivers a story that will hold you captive from page one, as you take to the road with Paul and Duke on a trip across the US that sees them come into contact with many different personalities, each with their own words of wisdom and advice, as well as having to face a number of different situations that left an impact on these two travelers, especially Paul, whose entire journey was one of self-discovery.
Well-paced and brilliantly written, this story played in my mind like a movie.
A story of love, friendship, heartache, desire and acceptance, this was an emotional rollercoaster ride, with many ups and downs, and a powerful message that will stay with me forever.
A stellar read with amazing characters who now each own a piece of my heart, this book deserves a place on the shelf with the greatest books of all time, some of which are mentioned in this story. Absolutely brilliant!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
To say Barbara Shoup is passionate about writing would be an understatement. The award-winning author has been recognized with multiple honors for her work, and inAugust, she will release her eighth novel “Looking for Jack Kerouac” with Lacewing Books, the young adult imprint of Engine Books.
Shoup is the author of seven other novels, including “Night Watch” (1982), “Wish You Were Here” (1994/2008), “Stranded in Harmony” (1997/2001), “Faithful Women” (1999), “Vermeer’s Daughter” (2003/2014), “Everything You Want” (2008) and “An American Tune” (2012). She is the executive director of the Indiana Writers Center and the co-author of “Novel Ideas: Contemporary Authors Share the Creative Process” (2000) and “Story Matters: Contemporary Short Story Writers Share the Creative Process (2006).”
Shoup graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s degree in secondary education. She taught creative writing to high school students for more than twenty years.
Shoup’s short fiction, poetry, essays and interviews have appeared in numerous small magazines, as well as in The Writer and The New York Times travel section. Her young adult novels, “Wish You Were Here” and “Stranded in Harmony” were selected as American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults. “Vermeer’s Daughter” was a School Library Journal Best Adult Book for Young Adults.
Shoup is the recipient of numerous grants from the Indiana Arts Council, two creative renewal grants from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the 2006 PEN Phyllis Reynolds
Naylor Working Writer Fellowship and the 2012 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Regional Indiana Author Award.
Shoup has lived in Indiana all her life. She is married with two daughters and two grandchildren.