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Denis Johnson

Poet / Writer
Date Of Birth:
1 July 1949
Date Of Death:
24 May 2017
Place Of Birth:
Munich, Germany
Best Known As:
The author of 'Tree of Smoke' and 'Jesus' Son'
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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