In this probing character study, Rideout fashions a hypothetical 1969 meeting in a bar in St. Petersburg, Florida, between Quebec playwright Michel Tremblay and an individual whom he believes to be a truly great writer - beat generation author Jack Kerouac, whose Francophone mother affectionately called him Ti-Jean . At the time of their meeting, Kerouac is forty-seven years old and only months away from death, destroyed by drink in an attempt to live up to the wild image of the "beatnik" stereotype he coined in his novel On the Road . Michel Tremblay is twenty-seven and his first widely produced play, Les Belles Soeurs , has premiered a year before.
As he encounters his writing idol, the younger man must break through the older man's emotional barriers to establish common ground. Ultimately, Kerouac's Qu#65533;b#65533;cois background helps Tremblay understand his work, recognize the role religion takes, and the place women play in his psyche, as stated metaphorically in the various female characters who populate Les Belles Soeurs .