In 1955, novelist Jack Kerouac detoured from his cross-country American travels to Mexico City, where a group of junkie expatriates he had known from the New York City post-war scene had gone for the cheap and plentiful supply of heroin and morphine. Fellow beat writer William S. Burroughs, who had been a part of the Mexican expatriate community, had introduced Kerouac to Bill Garver (named Old Bull Gaines in the novel), a much-older, long-term addict who had in turn introduced Kerouac to Esperanza Villanueva, whom Kerouac named Tristessa in the novel. Kerouac fell under the spell of Esperanza's dark allure and exotic surroundings, and hoped to re-experience the "fellaheen nights" of his joyous adventures with Mexicans in his past.
This week, the audio book version of Jack Kerouac's Tristessa has made it into the top 50 bestsellers in the Classics category. You can legally download or stream this audio book and listen to it for free at Spotify, Deezer, and in high quality at Audible.