Cover art for The Voice is All

The Voice is All

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In The Voice Is All, Joyce Johnson - coauthor of the classic memoir Door Wide Open, about her relationship with Jack Kerouac - brilliantly peels away layers of the Kerouac legend to show how, caught between two cultures and two languages, he forged a voice to contain his dualities. Looking more deeply than previous biographers into how Kerouac's French Canadian background enriched his prose and gave him a unique outsider's vision of America, she tracks his development from boyhood through the phenomenal breakthroughs of 1951 that resulted in the composition of On the Road, followed by Visions of Cody. By illuminating Kerouac's early choice to sacrifice everything for his work, The Voice Is All deals with him on his own terms and puts the tragic contradictions of his nature and his complex relationships into perspective.

©2012 Joyce Johnson (P)2012 Tantor

Length: 16 hrs and 50 mins
Available on Audible
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No Back Doors for Me


There are those stories of childhood that influence our way of thinking. One such story, told by her mother, ingrained a life-long mantra for I Am Joyce Johnson. In No Back Doors for Me, Joyce’s memoir of living out life and business by that mantra have been challenging. Learning to navigate in a world that has fallen short of creating diverse and inclusive workplaces has made Joyce a voice for Black women and Black professionals. As you listen to this book, you will cry, you will laugh, and you will evaluate your own thoughts and actions with a new lens.

©2021 Joyce Johnson (P)2021 Joyce Johnson

Narrator: Joyce Johnson
Length: 3 hrs and 8 mins
Available on Audible
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Minor Characters


Named one of the 50 best memoirs of the past 50 years by The New York Times Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award “Among the great American literary memoirs of the past century...a riveting portrait of an era...Johnson captures this period with deep clarity and moving insight.” (Dwight Garner, The New York Times) In 1954, Joyce Johnson’s Barnard professor told his class that most women could never have the kinds of experiences that would be worth writing about. Attitudes like that were not at all unusual at a time when “good” women didn’t leave home or have sex before they married; even those who broke the rules could merely expect to be minor characters in the dramas played by men. But secret rebels, like Joyce and her classmate Elise Cowen, refused to accept things as they were.  As a teenager, Johnson stole down to Greenwich Village to sing folksongs in Washington Square. She was 21 and had started her first novel when Allen Ginsberg introduced her to Jack Kerouac; nine months later she was with Kerouac when the publication of On the Road made him famous overnight. Joyce had longed to go on the road with him; instead she got a front seat at a cultural revolution under attack from all sides, made new friends like Hettie and LeRoi Jones, and found herself fighting to keep the shy, charismatic, tormented Kerouac from destroying himself. It was a woman’s adventure and a fast education in life. What Johnson and other Beat Generation women would discover were the risks, the heartache and the heady excitement of trying to live as freely as the rebels they loved.

©1983, 1994 by Joyce Johnson. Introduction © 1999 by Ann Douglas. (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Available on Audible
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Bad Connections


The award-winning author of Minor Characters writes with delicious transparency about a love that cannot be harnessed and a woman who refuses to be deceived. In the great wave of husband-leaving ushered in by the Sexual Revolution, Molly Held frees herself from her cold, flagrantly unfaithful husband after their final quarrel turns violent. With her five-year-old son, she lights out for an Upper West Side apartment and the new life she hopes to find with Conrad Schwartzberg - the charismatic radical lawyer who has recently become her lover. Having escaped from a desert, she lands in a swamp. While Conrad radiates positive energy, he is unable to tell Molly - or anyone who loves him - the truth. No longer the wronged wife, Molly now finds herself the Other Woman. She is sharing Conrad with Roberta, another refugee from marriage - with Conrad’s movements between the two of them disguised by his suspiciously frequent out-of-town engagements. Roberta either knows nothing or prefers to look the other way, but Molly’s maddening capacity for double vision takes over her mind. What saves her from herself is her well-developed sense of irony, which never fails her - or the listener.

©1977, 1978 Joyce Johnson (P)2014 Audible Inc.

Available on Audible