Lonesome Traveler

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Lonesome Traveller
First edition
AuthorJack Kerouac
IllustratorLarry Rivers
CountryUnited States
PublisherMcGraw Hill
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)

Lonesome Traveler is a non-fiction collection of short essays and sketches by American novelist and poet Jack Kerouac, published in 1960. It is a compilation of Kerouac's journal entries about traveling the United States, Mexico, Morocco, the United Kingdom and France, and covers similar issues to his novels, such as relationships, various jobs, and the nature of his life on the road. Some of the stories originally appeared as magazine articles.


The collection is Kerouac's first undisguisedly autobiographical work[1] written in his spontaneous prose style.[2] "Mexico Fellaheen" and "The Railroad Earth" (also known as "October in the Railroad Earth"), together with his travel journal entries, produce a loose but effective collection.

"Alone on a Mountaintop" recounts Kerouac's three-month stay on Desolation Peak as a lone fire lookout, which is also described (although somewhat differently) in The Dharma Bums and Desolation Angels.

The book begins with Kerouac's answers to a publisher's questionnaire, about his life and work.

Stories included[edit]

  • "Piers of a Homeless Night" (Full-text at publishers website)
  • "Mexico Fellaheen"
  • "The Railroad Earth"
  • "Slobs of the Kitchen Sea"
  • "New York Scenes"
  • "Alone on a Mountaintop"
  • "Big Trip to Europe"
  • "The Vanishing American Hobo"


  • Kerouac, Jack (1960). Lonesome Traveler. Grove Press. ISBN 978-0-8021-3074-7.


  1. ^ "Lonesome Traveler | Publisher's Page". Grove Atlantic. Archived from the original on 7 January 2019.
  2. ^ Holloran, Peter C. (2007). "Kerouac, Jack". In Goldfield, David R. (ed.). Encyclopedia of American Urban History. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, inc. p. 416. ISBN 9781452265537. OCLC 162105753.