Who Is Adam Johnson? (Find Out On April 15)

Reading Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Poetry Center is writer Adam Johnson, recipient of the 2010 Gina Berriault Award. Johnson won several big money awards in the last couple of years, not least of which was the Whiting Writers Award in 2009.

Caroline Chen of The Stanford Daily writes: "The Whiting Award, currently in its 25th year, praises Johnson as 'fearless' and 'dazzling.' Johnson joins the ranks of other famous award-winners such as authors David Foster Wallace (1987), Michael Cunningham (1995) and one of his heroes, English Prof. Tobias Wolff (1989)."

Johnson is in very good company. If David Foster Wallace and Tobias Wolff are your cup of tea, then Adam Johnson is likely to impress you, and there’s no excuse for you to miss this event. Fiction writers are encouraged to take advantage of Johnson’s campus visit, because how often does the Poetry Center feature notable fiction writers who give you a privileged sneak preview of their work (Johnson is currently working on a new novel about North Korea that he describes as "a North Korean Casablanca")?

Johnson is a senior lecturer at Stanford, but he is not just your average English teacher. His short story collection Emporium was described by Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times as "funny-sad-bizarre," which is fitting, because his work takes us places that may seem like our own backyards, but are actually chunks of familiar terrain situated on another plane of reality.

Need another reason to attend? Where else, outside of Matthew Davison’s classes, can you get this kind of anecdote:

"As an undergraduate, I liked writing short stories and was happy to be in the air conditioning, rather than out banging nails in the Arizona heat. It was cool to hang out with other people who loved books and go to smarty-pants parties. But it was a teacher who took me aside, a mentor who made me strive, a writer who showed me that all my perceived faults — lying, exaggerating, daydreaming, rubbernecking — combined to make something good called a story." ­­­

That's Adam Johnson, sharing stories on Jewcy.com. Join us April 15, Humanities Room 512 at San Francisco State University, to hear from this rising star in person.

-Amy Glasenapp, Fourteen Hills fiction editor

1 comment:

  1. I'm very excited for this event! Everyone should go :)