Douglas Brinkley: Gives back advance for Kerouac book

Historians in the News

Author Douglas Brinkley says he's giving back the advance he received from Penguin Group USA Inc., for failing to promptly deliver a biography on "Beat Generation" writer Jack Kerouac.

Penguin had sued Brinkley, who is also a history teacher at Houston's Rice University, because he failed to finish the book in time to publish it this month on the 50th anniversary Kerouac's autobiographical novel "On the Road."

Brinkley, reached Friday in New Orleans, said he and Kerouac's estate, which gave him access to the writer's papers, had divided the $200,000 advance evenly. He said the estate's executor, John Sampas, has agreed to return its half as well.

George Tobia, lawyer for Brinkley and the Kerouac estate, said he spoke to Penguin's lawyer, Alex Gigante, and the dispute was resolved.

Penguin issued a statement Friday saying that since suing Brinkley two days earlier to recover the advance, both sides have "reached a tentative settlement in principle, which they hope to finalize shortly."...

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