New York City, 1995: Harry Charity is a sensitive young loner haunted by a disastrous affair when he meets Jay Bishop, an outgoing poet and former Marine. Propelled by a shared fascination with the unfettered lives of Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation, the two are irresistibly drawn together, even as Jay’s girlfriend, Zahra, senses something deeper developing.
Reveling in their discovery of the legendary scroll manuscript of Kerouac’s On the Road in the vaults of the New York Public Library, Harry and Jay embark on a nicotine-and-caffeine-fueled journey into New York’s smoky jazz joints, dusty rare-book shops and thriving poetry scene of slams and open-mike nights.
An encounter with “Howl” poet Allen Ginsberg shatters their notions of what it means to be Beat but ultimately and unexpectedly leads them into their own hearts where they’re forced to confront the same questions that confounded their heroes: What do you do when you fall for someone who can’t fall for you? What do you do when you’re the object of affection? What must you each give up to keep the other in your life?
Beatitude features two previously unpublished poems by Allen Ginsberg.
Larry Closs is a New Yorker who often wanders far from home.
“Stylish, descriptive and emotionally raw, Beatitude is a calling card for both Larry Closs, the author, and Larry Closs, the man—intrinsically removed, abruptly convincing and familiar—one whose intimate recollection of madness in his own mind surfaces when least expected. To lose yourself in the unrehearsed authenticity of Closs, you’ll have to pick up the novel. And luckily for us, his engine is revving for future work. It was beat poet Allen Ginsberg who now infamously wrote, “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.” Indeed, time to level the field.” —Lambda Literary
“Closs, who has done a great deal of research on the subject, seamlessly weaves Beat history and literature into his novel—just enough for the cognoscenti, but not so much as to overwhelm newcomers to the Beat Generation.” —The Gay & Lesbian Review
“An endearing debut novel about aspects of love and connection set against the continuing legacy of the Beat Generation.” —Shelf Awareness