Week of September 27th | Diane Johnson
Diane Johnson is one of the world's most accomplished woman of letters. Her first book,
FAIR GAME was published in 1965. In 1968 she wrote LOVING HANDS AT HOME, followed by BURNING in 1970.
In 1972 Ms. Johnson was nominated for the National Book Award for LESSER LIVES, a
biography of Mary Ellen Meredith, wife of writer George Meredith, and a poet in her own right,
though she often used her husbands' name to get her works published.
The SHADOW KNOWS was published in 1974. Film director Stanley Kubrick was so impressed by Ms. Johnson's work that her selected her to write the screenplay to the classic Stephen King novel THE SHINING. LYING LOW, a novel, was published in 1978.
She returned to non-fiction in 1982 with the publication of TERRORISTS AND NOVELISTS. In 1983 she wrote THE LIFE OF DASHIEL HAMMETT, working with the full cooperation of Lillian Hellman. This is the definitive biography on Hammett's life.
PERSIAN NIGHTS was published to great acclaim in 1987. HEALTH AND HAPPINESS followed in 1990. A collection of short stories, NATURAL OPIUM: SOME TRAVELERS' TALES, was published in 1993. This collection is loosely based on the travels of Ms. Johnson and her husband, Dr. John Murray.
Ms. Johnson was nominated for the National Book Award again in 1997 for Le' DIVORCE, a brilliant romp through the lives of Americans living in France. The novel is funny, sexy, and contains brilliant social commentary. Le' MARIAGE followed in 2000, L'AFFAIRE in 2003. This 'trilogy' of French novels constitute some of the finest writing done in the
past decade. Book clubs looking for a fresh contemporary novel to read need look no furthur than Le' DIVORCE. You will not be disappointed.
Thankfully, most of Ms. Johnson's work has been re-issued by Plume paperbacks. The hardcover editions are published by Dutton. The trade paperback of L' AFFAIRE is currently available in book stores.
The interview you're about to listen to took place at Rebel's Rest at the University of the South in July, 2004. We discuss Ms. Johnson's work, and we also discuss her life in France. Sit back and enjoy the interview......