Gabrielle, Jack’s mother, was certainly a center in his writing and a core in his life.
She, and the Catholic upbringing of Jack, were also a “hold” on him. In Women of the Beat Generation, an example of this attachment is in the form of a letter to Jack: “Honey, I’m still not able to realize that you have left me for good. I keep searching the Boulevard looking out the window for hours thinking I’ll see you come walking and waving to me. I dare say I miss you a lot now and more so now that I know you don’t belong to me anymore but that’s life and sooner or later I’ll get used to the idea. I hope you will be very happy, Honey, and that nothing will ever stop you from being a great ‘Man.’ With the help of your new Mother and a good Wife you should become a great ‘writer.'”
Gabrielle is in many of Jack’s books: as “Marguerite Courbet Martin” in Town and the City, as Sal’s aunt in On the Road, and as “Ange” in Vanity of Duluoz and Doctor Sax.