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ISBN 978-1-936740-04-8
5 1/2 x 8 1/2, 248 pages


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One and Only

The Untold Story of On the Road

The Never-Before-Told Story of the Girl Who Went On the Road with Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady

Lu Anne Henderson was a beautiful 15-year-old girl in Denver in 1946 when she met Neal Cassady, fast-talking hurricane of male sexuality and vast promises. He told her he was going to enroll in Columbia to become a writer. He did marry her and took her to New York, but stole her uncle’s car to get there. Although Neal never made it into a classroom, they were soon hanging out with many would-be writers, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Lu Anne became the secret link between Kerouac and Cassady, helping to ignite the Beat Generation, and giving Kerouac material for one of the seminal novels of the twentieth century, On the Road. For press materials, please click here.



One and Only is essential reading for anyone wishing to get the full picture of the Beat Generation. Lu Anne Henderson was Neal Cassady’s life-long love and was responsible for the friendship with Kerouac that gave us On the Road. Gerald Nicosia was always a loyal advocate of the women of the Beat Generation, and his remarkable interview with Lu Anne fills in an enormous gap in the story. A great book.” —Barry Miles, author of Jack Kerouac: King of the Beats

“The passion and knowledge Gerald Nicosia shared...has influenced so many people to appreciate Kerouac and his work; I’ve read all the Kerouac biographies, and Memory Babe is clearly the best.” —Walter Salles, director of On the Road

“Nicosia found Lu Anne Henderson and listened to her voice with great care. He’s written the context, made room so that she can tell her truth about On the Road. We go again but differently on that mythic road with Jack and Neal.” —Maxine Hong Kingston, author of The Woman Warrior

“An unsung teen-heroine of the time, Lu Anne Henderson, the young woman on whom the character ‘Marylou’ in On the Road is based, finally has her say.” —Anne Waldman, co-founder of The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Naropa Institute

“I read One and Only straight through and loved it, and loved the energy that was put into it. Lu Anne, much ignored by most of the biographers except Nicosia, finally comes across as a vital part of the Beat Generation. One and Only is must reading and...will become an essential part of the Beat canon.” —Jerry Kamstra, author of The Frisco Kid

“Gerald Nicosia is surely the preeminent historian of the Beat Generation, and One and Only adds new and brightly colored pieces to his vast mosaic.” —Aram Saroyan, Author of Genesis Angels

“Gerald Nicosia has done it again!...One and Only fleshes out the beginnings of On the Road and makes it fuller and more interesting…. I read One and Only from cover to cover in one day, and Lu Anne’s presence hovers with me still.” —Joanna McClure, author of Extended Love Poem

“Nicosia reveals the story behind the story of the great American epic, On the Road, which is to say he uncovers one of its deeply buried secrets. Every myth has one, and the great unknown force that brought Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady together is revealed here for the first time in the vivacious voice of Lu Anne Henderson.” —Phil Cousineau, author of Wordcatcher

“The book is a most valuable addition to Kerouaciana and the legend of Neal Cassady. It also gives Lu Anne a place she deserves, and has not gotten from others.” —Herbert Gold, author of Bohemia

“Nicosia has a historian’s vision that generously accommodates the ambivalences and Rashomon quality of memory. With a breezy and genuine beatitude, Nicosia renders the pre-On the Road Beat world with an admiration that doesn’t discount its occasional irony and fraud. One and Only is a book of masterful craft subversively camouflaged as coolly minimal in which the sophisticated tricks of the trade of fiction are used to tell a real story.” —Kate Braverman, author of Lithium for Medea

“Gerald Nicosia is without any doubt one of the premier Beat Era scholars, and his newest work with and on Lu Anne Henderson is an invaluable addition to the Kerouac/Cassady canon.” —Barry Gifford, author of Wild at Heart and co-author of Jack's Book

“Gerald Nicosia does such an excellent and thorough job of documenting the ‘Beat Family.’” —Joanne Kyger, author of About Now: Collected Poems

Praise for Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac:
"By far the best of the many books published about Jack Kerouac's life and work, accurately and clearly written, with a sure feeling for Jack's own prose." —William S. Burroughs



GERALD NICOSIA's biography of Jack Kerouac, Memory Babe, won the Distinguished Young Writer Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters while still a work-in-progress. It remains widely regarded as the definitive work on Kerouac. Also the author of Home to War, Nicosia lives in Corte Madera, CA. ANNE MARIE SANTOS, Lu Anne's daughter, lives in Arlington, VA.


Also by Anne Marie Santos and Gerald Nicosia