Denis Johnson

Facts about Denis Johnson

Denis Johnson died at 67 years old
Born: July 1, 1949
Died: May 24, 2017
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Best known as: The author of 'Tree of Smoke' and 'Jesus' Son'

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Denis Johnson Biography

Denis Johnson was an American writer whose 2007 novel Tree of Smoke won the National Book Award.

He was also a poet, journalist and playwright whose work is often described as stories of lost and desperate people in bleak and chaotic situations.

Johnson began his career as a poet in the late 1960s, with realist tones reminiscent of Raymond Carver. He then spent a decade with alcohol and drugs and rehab, but made a splash when he returned with the 1983 novel Angels.

Literary, dedicated and reclusive, Johnson won over critics and gained something of a cult following with his collection of linked stories Jesus’ Son (1992), and secured his place as a novelist with the Vietnam War novel Tree of Smoke.

As a journalist he wrote about troubled corners of the world, epecially Africa, and as a poet he was known for directness, simplicity and powerful language.

His books of poetry include Inner Weather (1976) and The Veil (1985), and his novels include The Reuscitation of a Hanged Man (1991), Train Dreams (2011, a novella) and The Laughing Monsters (2014).


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