Cardboard Cutouts

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For the Guardian, Lynette Lounsbury shares her adolescent experience reading the beat writers and coming to realize that there was little “space” for women in the beatnik world:

I read more Kerouac, The Dharma Bums my favourite, and then I read Cassady and Ginsberg and Burroughs. I loved the beat generation and the men in it. I loved how they shared themselves with each other and their readers, generously. But I always had, and still have, the sneaking and sinking suspicion that there would have been no place for me in that world. There were no Scarlett O’Haras in the beat world. There were women, certainly, but they felt like cardboard cut-outs, something to move around, admire, shift gently out of the way when necessary.


Jake Slovis earned his MFA in Writing from Rutgers University, where he now teaches English Composition. He is a second-generation Argentine American and has spent significant time living and writing in Buenos Aires. He currently resides in Brooklyn. More from this author →