Johnson, Denis

Johnson, Denis,

1949–2017, American writer, b. Munich, Germany, where his father was a diplomat; B.A. Univ. of Iowa, 1971, M.F.A. Iowa Writers' Workshop, 1974. Years of drinking and taking drugs ended in the early 1980s, when he began turning out a stream of novels, short stories, poetry, and nonfiction. He is best known for the interlocked short stories of Jesus' Son (1991, film 1999), narrated by a drug addict drifter who travels a desolate America and describes in raw yet visionary language the lives of lost, damaged characters—addicts, criminals, drinkers, lovers who do not love—and occasionally the possibility of redemption. Similar characters (and a few of the same ones) inhabit Johnson's final book, the posthumously published short-story collection The Largesse of the Sea Maiden (2018). Johnson wrote nine novels, most notably Tree of Smoke (2007, National Book Award), a novel of the Vietnam War and espionage. His other novels include Angels (1983), Fiskadoro (1985), Already Dead (1997), Nobody Move (2009), and The Laughing Monsters (2014). He also wrote a novella, several books of poetry, and a handful of plays and screenplays.
References in periodicals archive ?
HOWARD JOHNSON, Denis O'Regan and the Wylies had four strong fancies at Carlisle yesterday, and the trio got off to a flyer after the short-priced pair of Washington Irving and Alvarado converted the first two opportunities.
For all the individual tennis accolades accumulated by seniors Alex Johnson, Denis Lin and Kyle McMorrow, they wouldn't have been satisfied with their careers at Thousand Oaks if a trip to the Southern Section Div.
CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE: From left, David Johnson, Denis Smith, Joey Jones and Phil Neal