I learned yesterday via Tim Z. Hernandez that Bea Franco, the woman who inspired Jack Kerouac to write one of his most beautiful passages in On the Road, passed away at the age of 92.
Bea Franco was the real-life woman behind Terry, “the Mexican girl,” in On the Road. Hernandez tracked her down in California when he was doing research for a book on her life and had the great opportunity to interview her and get to know her and her family over time. He wrote a beautiful book entitled Manana Means Heaven (University of Arizona Press) celebrating her relationship with Kerouac and her life afterwards which is due out later this month. I got to read an advance, and I’ll write more on that soon, but what I will say for now is that it’s an inspired work of literature that stands on its own as well as an important book bringing light to one of the women who impacted the Beat Generation. Although the book is not out yet, Hernandez got an advance copy to Franco, which she was able to see a week before she passed away. You can read about that on Hernandez’s blog.
Related links from around the Web:
Beatrice Kozera, known as ‘Terry’ in Kerouac’s ‘On the Road,’ dies at 92 by the Associated Press
On the Road — The Original Scroll — Bea on Retracing Kerouac
On the Road: Columbia Studios, Hollywood, California on Littourati
Evan Karp’s article “Tim Hernandez: Book inspired by Jack Kerouac” for the SFGate
Actress Alice Braga as Terry in the film adaptation
The Daily Beat’s review of Hernandez’s book about Franco, Manana Means Heaven