the short story project

Denis Johnson

Denis Johnson

Denis Johnson was one of America’s most prominent writers. He was born in Munich in 1949 and was raised in Tokyo, Manila, and the suburbs outside of Washington, D.C. by a father who worked for the CIA. He studied with Raymond Carver while earning his MFA from the University of Iowa. Johnson is the author of eight novels, one novella, one book of short stories, three collections of poetry, two collections of plays, and one book of reportage. Johnson struggled with alcoholism and various other addictions. It was out of these experiences that he wrote his breakthrough volume of stories, Jesus’ Son (1992), which was later adapted for the screen. His novel Tree of Smoke won the 2007 National Book Award. Denis Johnson died in May 2017 of liver cancer, at his home in The Sea Ranch, at the age of 67. 


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