"This is the muse's side of the story. It turns out the muse could write as well as anybody."
“This little known Beat Generation memoir uncovers the hidden female characters who played pivotal roles in the progression of the 1950’s literary movement. One can imagine how Hannah’s bookish heart beats to the drum of figures like Edie Parker and Elise Cowen and Joyce Johnson.”
– Lena Dunham
“Rich and beautifully written, full of vivid portraits and evocations of the major Beat voices and the minor characters, their women.”
--Anne Lamott, The San Francisco Chronicle
"A first-rate memoir, very beautiful, very sad."
“Minor Characters is, in its quiet but deliberate way, among the great American literary memoirs of the past century . . . [It] is not just about the Beats . . . in part it’s a portrait of Johnson’s cloistered middle-class childhood on the Upper West Side. . .Best of all, perhaps, this book charts Johnson’s own career as a budding writer . . .it’s a book about a so-called minor character who, in the process of writing her life, became a major one.”
– Dwight Garner, The New York Times Book Review
"Joyce Johnson hands over to us the safe-deposit box that contains lost, precious scrolls of the New York '50s."
--The Washington Post