Charles Johnson

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General Information

Name: Charles Johnson

Pen Name: Genre: Fiction, Non-Fiction

Born: 1948 in Evanston, Illinois



Illinois Connection

Charles was born in Evanston and he attended Southern Illinois University.

Biographical and Professional Information

A writer, scholar and cartoonist, Johnson received his B.S. and M.A. from Southern Illinois University in 1971 and 1973 and his Ph.D. in philosophy from SUNY-Stony Brook in 1988.

Recently retired, Johnson was the S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Endowed Professor of English at the University of Washington. While there, he also was the former director of the creative writing program at the University of Washington. He also served as fiction editor for the Seattle Review from l978-98.

In his novels, Dreamer and Middle Passage, Johnson directly addressed the issues of black life in America.

Johnson sponsors the Marie Clair Davis Award in Creative Writing, given to a secondary student at Evanston Township High School, and the Charles Johnson Student Fiction Award, a national contest, at Southern Illinois University.

Published Works

  • Black Humor, 1970
  • Half-Past Nation Time, 1972
  • Faith and The Good Thing, Viking, 1974
  • Oxherding Tale, Indiana University Press, 1982
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice, 1986
  • Being and Race: Black Writing Since 1970, 1988
  • Middle Passage, Macmillan, 1990
  • Dreamer, Scribner, 1998
  • Africans in America: America's Journey through Slavery, l998, co-authored with Patricia Smith
  • King: The Photobiography of Martin Luther King Jr., Viking Studio, 2000, co-authored with Bob Adelman
  • Soulcatcher and Other Stories, 2001
  • Turning the Wheel, 2003
  • Dr. King's Refrigerator: And Other Bedtime Stories, 2005

Titles for Purchase and at Your Library

Faith And The Good Thing

ISBN: 0743212541
Release Date: 2001-01-10

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Oxherding Tale: A Novel

ISBN: 0743264495
Release Date: 2005-02-08

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The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Tales and Conjurations

ISBN: 0452272378
Release Date: 1994-12-01

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Being and Race: Black Writing Since 1970

ISBN: 0253205379
Release Date: 1990-02-01

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Middle Passage

ISBN: 0684855887
Release Date: 1998-07-01

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Dreamer: A Novel

ISBN: 0684854430
Release Date: 1999-02-02

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Africans in America: America's Journey through Slavery

ISBN: 0156008548
Release Date: 1999-11-11

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King: A Photobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

ISBN: 0670892165
Release Date: 2000-11-06

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Soulcatcher: And other stories

ISBN: 0156011123
Release Date: 2001-03-15

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Dr. King's Refrigerator: And Other Bedtime Stories

ISBN: 0743264533
Release Date: 2005-02-08

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Literary Awards

  • Governor's Award for Literature from the state of Washington for Oxherding Tale in 1983
  • Govenor's Award for Literature for Being and Race in 1989
  • National Book Award for Middle Passages, 1990
  • Best American Short Stories in 1992
  • His short fiction was included in the O'Henry Prize Stories in 1993
  • Honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from Southern Illinois University in 1995
  • Honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Northwestern in 1994
  • Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in l999
  • Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award from the Corporate Council for the Arts in 2000
  • Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s 2001 Achievement Award “for distinguished professional achievement and for enhancing the stature of Northwest literature"
  • American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, 2002
  • Distinguished Alumni Award from Evanston Township High School in 2003
  • Stephen Henderson Award for outstanding contributions to African American literature and culture at the spring conference for the American Literature Association in 2004
  • Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Lewis and Clark College in 2006

Speaking Engagements and Upcoming Appearances

Speaking Engagement Availability: Yes, contact:

Jodi F. Solomon Speakers Bureau, Inc.

325 Huntington Avenue Suite #112

Boston, Massachusetts 02115

Office Number 617 266-3450

Fax Number 617 266-5660

External Links

Charles Johnson on WorldCat

Charles Johnson on Amazon

Charles R. Johnson on Wikipedia


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