How I Became Hettie Jones and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.00
  • Save: $5.04 (34%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Standard Used Condition
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

How I Became Hettie Jones Paperback – December 6, 1996


See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$9.96
$5.98 $0.41
Best%20Books%20of%202014


Frequently Bought Together

How I Became Hettie Jones + Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir + On the Road
Price for all three: $30.42

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; 1st Grove Press ed edition (December 6, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802134963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802134967
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #643,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Jones' atmospheric prose brings the Beat era to life with more gusto than any previous memoir, thanks to homely details like eating potato pancakes at the Second Avenue Deli and wearing Ukrainian scarves and black tights. She looks back on her marriage to LeRoi Jones with tenderness, even as she delineates the cultural forces that eventually ripped them apart. Famous friends like Allen Ginsberg make appearances, but Jones' focus is on family (her two daughters are lovingly described) and individual growth. Evocative and touching.

From Publishers Weekly

As the wife of controversial black playwright-poet LeRoi Jones (now Amiri Baraka), Hettie Cohen, a white Jew from Queens, N.Y., plunged into the Greenwich Village bohemia of jazz, poetry, leftish politics and underground publishing in the late 1950s. Their life together ended in 1965, partly, she implies, because of separatist pressures on blacks to end their interracial marriages. In this restrained autobiographical mix of introspection and gossip, the author writes of coping with racial prejudice and violence, raising two daughters, and of living in the shadow of her husband. When the couple divorced, she became a children's book author and poet. The memoir is dotted with glimpses of Allen Ginsberg, Thelonious Monk, Jack Kerouac, Frank O'Hara, Billie Holiday, James Baldwin, Franz Kline, among others.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Great books - stayed up until 3 am to finish.
Nina
Hettie's writing style is so unique, beautiful and inspired it's a shame she hasn't written a dozen books with the same freeflowing gorgeous poetry of this one.
sweetdrop
This is an autobiography well worth reading for anyone who has an interest in the Black Power movement of the 1960's.
Sam I Am

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By phigirl on June 22, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
hettie jones' well-written book is more than just another account of life in what was then the "new bohemia." the parties, the readings, the hand-to-mouth existence are all there, but hettie jones focuses on the every day events and ordinary moments that ultimately define a life and make it real. through one woman's story, we get equal glimpses into women's lives, their unique struggles even within the "free" subculture of the bohemians, the beat scene, and relations between the races. i originally picked up this book because of my interest in the beat generation and growing interest in the role of the women in this movement, but it is so much more. hettie jones uses seemingly ordinary events and through them draws a clear picture of time, place, emotion, and attitude. throughout it all, she manages to be both unbiased and sympathetic, neither overly critical of herself or others nor excessively self-important about being at the center of a cultural revolution. she brings what has become an idolized and mythological movement down to its true base element: people. hettie jones writes about their lives and conflicts and communications and misunderstandings, removing their status as demi-gods or jobless hedonists (depending on if you are a fan or critic) and revealing accessible, real individuals with real lives who just happened to be looking for a little bit more than the accepted american ideals.
this book belongs equally in the womens' studies, beat literature, and race relations sections of any bookstore or library.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By sweetdrop on September 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am an avid reader, and I read an assortment of books, but I have never come across a book like this! Miraculously, I picked it up at a used bookshop and bought it after quickly scanning the description on the back flap. It seemed interesting, but was thrown in a corner with a bunch of other books that I promised myself I would read when I caught up on mounds of other books which seemed more important. Fast forward a few years and imagine someone literally nose in book, reading while walking, not able to put it down! This is a woman's fascinating account of life in the '50s and '60s, but that's not all. Hettie's writing style is so unique, beautiful and inspired it's a shame she hasn't written a dozen books with the same freeflowing gorgeous poetry of this one. This book actually made me laugh out loud, sob, smile, feel anger, and shame. It also made me frustrated by the injustices of the world. How can one attend school everyday from the age of five and not learn a tenth of what is taught in this slim book? Buy this for your sons and daughters, your parents, friends, teachers. It's true that this should be required reading. I would love to have a conversation with this wise woman, but in the meantime, this book is as close to that as one can hope for.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M Savarino on February 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is about the hardships, make do's, and sacrifices made in the name of "La Vie Boheme." Mrs. Hettie Jones is a frank and lovely writer, who offers an account of her life with the poet and playwright LeRoi Jones. She could have filled the pages with stories upon stories of her life on the Lower East Side during what would later be know as the Beat movement. But instead, uses the music and art around her like spices to deepen the flavor of her life, as she offers it to us, at that time-frankly. A time when women were just beginning to have choices of what they wanted to BE, Hettie Jones tells us how she reconciled these choices with the responsibility of family. Her love for whom is present throughout.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
How I became Hettie Jones is one of the most candid and lovely books I have ever read. I am a fan of Amiri Baraka and I have done a lot of research on him so naturally this book would have been an inside look into his life. Hettie Jones exhibits extreme courage and inner beauty in her prose. I fell in love with her spirit as i read the book. Any woman, black or white will be able to identify with the trials Jones ovecomes. I like Jones because she doesn't compromise herself and loves who she is, flaws and everything. Her artful language places the reader into each time frame, making them become a part of each situation. I would recommend this book to everyone who would appriciate the wise words of an open-minded, creative and intelligent woman.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By phigirl on July 28, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
hettie jones' well-written book is more than just another account of life in what was then the "new bohemia." the parties, the readings, the hand-to-mouth existence are all there, but hettie jones focuses on the every day events and ordinary moments that ultimately define a life and make it real. through one woman's story, we get equal glimpses into women's lives, their unique struggles even within the "free" subculture of the bohemians, the beat scene, and relations between the races. i originally picked up this book because of my interest in the beat generation and growing interest in the role of the women in this movement, but it is so much more. hettie jones uses seemingly ordinary events and through them draws a clear picture of time, place, emotion, and attitude. throughout it all, she manages to be both unbiased and sympathetic, neither overly critical of herself or others nor excessively self-important about being at the center of a cultural revolution. she brings what has become an idolized and mythological movement down to its true base element: people. hettie jones writes about their lives and conflicts and communications and misunderstandings, removing their status as demi-gods or jobless hedonists (depending on if you are a fan or critic) and revealing accessible, real individuals with real lives who just happened to be looking for a little bit more than the accepted american ideals.
this book belongs equally in the womens' studies, beat literature, and race relations sections of any bookstore or library.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?