Train Dreams (Johnson)

Author Bio
Birth—1949
Where—Munich, Germany (of American parents)
Education—M.F.A., University of Iowa, USA
Awards—National Book Award; Whiting Writer's Award; Paris Review's Aga Khan Prize
Currently—lives in Arizona and Idaho, USA


Denis Hale Johnson is an American author who is known for his short-story collection Jesus' Son (1992), his novel Tree of Smoke (2007), which won the National Book Award, his novella, Train Dreams (2011), and The Laughing Monsters (2014). He also writes plays, poetry and non-fiction.

Johnson was born in 1949 in Munich, West Germany. He holds an MFA degree from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, where he has also returned to teach. He received a Whiting Writer’s Award in 1986 and a Lannan Fellowship in Fiction in 1993.

Johnson first came to prominence after the publication of his short story collection Jesus' Son (1992), whose 1999 film adaptation was named one of the top ten films of the year by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Roger Ebert. Johnson has a cameo role in the film as a man who has been stabbed in the eye by his wife.

Johnson's plays have been produced in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Seattle. He is the Resident Playwright of Campo Santo, the resident theater company at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco.

In 2006-2007, Johnson held the Mitte Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

Johnson lives with his wife, Cindy Lee, in Arizona and Idaho. He has three children, two of whom he homeschooled; in October, 1997 he wrote an article for Salon.com in defense of homeschooling. (Adapted from Wikipedia.)

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