Janet Michelle Kerouac is universally recognized as Jack Kerouac‘s daughter, but when she was born to his second wife, Joan Haverty, on February 16, 1952 in Albany, New York, he refused to accept this fact. His short marriage to Joan was already over by this time, and Jan would see her father very few times. The sad story of their last meeting was told by Jan in her own first book, “Baby Driver,” which takes its title from a Paul Simon song.
Jan also wrote a second book, “Train Song.” But her promising literary career did not survive a ruinous bout with kidney disease, aggravated by years of rough living. She spent the last few years of her life involved in an ugly and bitter battle with the family of Stella Sampas, Kerouac’s third and last wife, over the disposition and control of Jack’s estate. She died in the midst of this battle, on June 7, 1996 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her third novel, “Parrot Fever”, was published after her death, after being excerpted on LitKicks.