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Denis Johnson Biography

(1949– ), Angels, Fiskadoro, The Stars at Noon, Resuscitation of a Hanged Man, Jesus' Son

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Tama Janowitz Biography to P(atrick) J(oseph Gregory) Kavanagh Biography

American writer, born in Munich, Germany, educated at the University of Iowa. His work combines harsh realism with allusions to myth and Christian symbolism, in an American tradition that includes Jim Harrison, Louise Erdrich, and Jayne Ann Phillips. His first novel was Angels (1984), in which a pair of outcasts, a sailor and a convict, engage in bank robbery and murder. This was followed by the futuristic Fiskadoro (1985), a surreal evocation of forgotten wars and global crises; The Stars at Noon (1989); and Resuscitation of a Hanged Man (1991), in which the protagonist falls in love with a lesbian. Jesus' Son (1992) is a collection of linked stories narrated by a heroin addict. Johnson's poetry is collected in New and Collected Poems (1995).

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