- Category : Writers-Fiction
- Type : GE
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (6,10,34)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Contagion 1
American writer and noted family, the only daughter of Jack Kerouac, famed Beat generation author. She is probably best known for her first novel, "Baby Driver: A Novel About Myself," 1981, which documents her last visit with her father.
Jan’s mother was Joan Haverty, Jack Kerouac’s second wife. Her parents were estranged at the time of her birth, and her father denied paternity. Her childhood, in the lower east side of Manhattan, was a difficult one, and she and her mother lived in poverty for the most part. When Jan was about nine years old, her mother instituted legal proceedings to force her father to provide child support; blood tests were positive, and Kerouac finally acknowledged her as his daughter.
As a teenager, she got heavily involved in the drug scene, and her mother eventually committed her to the state mental institution. After her release, she got into further trouble, and at age 15-16, Jan and her boyfriend took off for Mexico, stopping on the way for a brief visit with her father; it was to be their second and final meeting. Her father died while she was still a teenager. Eventually returning to the United States, she worked various odd jobs, for a time as a prostitute. Like her father, Jan loved being on the road, and her travels in Mexico were the subject of her second novel, "Trainsong," 1988.
The last few years of her life were focused on her struggle to have her father’s body moved to a family plot, as well as to have his archives placed in a museum or library, thus preserving them forever. A friend commented, "Jan loved her father very much and was haunted by not having him and wanting to get to know him, trying to follow in his footsteps." She was working on her third novel, "Parrot Fever," at the time of her death.
Married and divorced twice, her first husband was John Lash. In 1968, she gave birth to a stillborn baby; her only child.
Her life was a troubled one, marked with periods of self-destructive behavior, and her promising literary career was cut short by the onset of kidney disease. She underwent dialysis for the five years preceding her death. On 6/04/1996, she had her spleen removed, and she died the following day, 6/05/1996, Albuquerque, New Mexico.