In late 1944, under rather mysterious circumstances,
aspiring writer Jack Kerouac lost a novella-length manuscript titled The Haunted Life. Set in Galloway, a
fictionalized version of Kerouac’s hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts, the
coming-of-age story of Peter Martin—a character based on the author’s recently
departed friend Sebastian Sampas—tackles the pressing issues of the day.
At home in the working-class town the summer before his
sophomore year at Boston College, Peter finds himself conflicted. Like many
Americans, Peter is unsure, suspended between the economic crisis of the
previous decade and the impending US entry into World War II. In The Haunted Life, Peter struggles to
define what he believes to be intellectually true and worthy of his life and
Skillfully edited by Todd F. Tietchen, assistant professor
of English at the University of Massachusetts–Lowell, The Haunted Life is rounded out by sketches, notes, and reflections
Kerouac kept during the novella’s composition as well as a revealing selection
of correspondence with his father, Leo. Download and start listening now!