San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1971. 20x13.5cm: 157pp. First Edition, First Printing, one of only 5000 copies printed. White wrappers printed in black. Front cover reproduces a photograph by Carolyn Cassady of the author and Jack Kerouac. Some wear along wrapper edges. A few areas of creasing to front wrapper, with one small scratch. Small stain and light toning to rear wrapper. Internally clean. Better than Very Good.
Cassady was a key figure of the Beat Generation and is known as the inspiration for Jack Kerouac’s character Dean Moriarty in On The Road. The First Third combines a partial autobiography of Cassady’s dysfunctional youth along with other autobiographical fragments of his young adult life, including a recollection of his first meeting with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. The work also includes a series of letters written to Jack Kerouac and one to Ken Kesey which was written just three years before Cassady’s untimely death. In these letters, one can feel the influence that Cassady had on these iconic writers.