Fun Facts Friday: Denis Johnson

July 1, 2022

Denis Johnson (1 July 1949 – 24 May 2017) was an award-winning American writer who is known for his novel Tree of Smoke as well as his short story collection Jesus’ Son.

Books by Denis Johnson*

Fun Facts about Denis Johnson:

  1. Denis Johnson was born in Munich, West Germany. His father, Alfred, worked for the US State Department as a liaison between the US Information Agency and the CIA. The family also lived in the Philippines, Japan, and Washington D.C.
  2. The author graduated from the University of Iowa, and got his M.F.A. from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, taking classes from Raymond Carver. He later returned to teach at the workshop.
  3. At the age of 19, Denis Johnson published his first book of poetry titled The Man Among Seals.
  4. Fourteen years later, in 1983, Mr. Johnson published his first novel, Angels.
  5. The reason for the gap was that Mr. Johnson was addicted to drugs in his twenties and did not do much writing.
  6. Nine years later, in 1992, Denis Johnson’s short story collection Jesus’ Son was published to great acclaim. The collection was inspired by Russian author Isaac Babel’s book Red Cavalry.
  7. In 2007, the book Tree of Smoke won the National Book Award for Fiction, as well as a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction finalist (2008).
  8. His novella, Train Dreams (2011 but originally published in The Paris Review in 2002) was also chosen as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
    That year, however, the board did not award a prize for fiction at all.
  9. Denis Johnson wrote nine novels, one novella, two short stories collections, three poetry collections, two play collections and one book of reportage.
  10. Johnson homeschooled two of his three children and even wrote an article for Salon defending the practice.

Books by Denis Johnson*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

 

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Fun Facts Friday: Denis Johnson
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Fun Facts Friday: Denis Johnson
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Denis Johnson (1 July 1949 – 24 May 2017) was an award-winning American writer who is known for his novel Tree of Smoke as well as his short story collection Jesus’ Son.
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Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog
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