A haunting portrayal of addiction and a troubled young woman
‘She understands Karma, she says: “What I do, I reap”‘
Her name means sadness, yet Tristessa, a prostitute and morphine addict, lives without cares in her shabby room with a menagerie of pets and an altar to the Virgin Mary. Based on Jack Kerouac’s own real-life love affair in Mexico city, this is the story of a man’s ill-fated relationship with a woman he portrays with tenderness and dignity, even as her life spirals out of control.
‘A narrative meditation studying a hen, a rooster, a dove, a cat, a chihuaha dog, family meat, and a ravishing, ravished junky lady, first in their crowded bedroom, then out to drunken streets, taco stands, and pads at dawn in Mexico City slums’ Allen Ginsberg
About the Author
Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922. Educated by Jesuit brothers in Lowell, he decided to become a writer at age seventeen and developed his own writing style, which he called ‘spontaneous prose’. He used this technique to record the life of the American ‘traveler’ and the experiences of the Beat Generation, most memorably in On the Road and also in The Subterraneans and The Dharma Bums. His other works include Big Sur, Desolation Angels, Lonesome Traveler, Visions of Gerard, Tristessa, and a book of poetry called Mexico City Blues. Jack Kerouac died in 1969.
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