Off the Tracks: A Beatnik Family Journey
Constance Hood, author
This coming of age novel is set in the whorl of the early 1960s, when the first cracks in an idealized American life were revealing themselves. Kate’s mother Ellie falls in love with a Beatnik and adopts his rebellious lifestyle. Hilarious, poignant and sad, the novel begins in a conservative small town and continues on a year long odyssey as the foursome travels the rails in Europe for ten months, no tickets. The author's 1961 diary is the source document, along with love letters, memoirs, and party tapes provided by the adults.