Posts Tagged: Denis Johnson


The Rumpus Interview with Ranbir Singh Sidhu


Ranbir Singh Sidhu discusses his new novel, Deep Singh Blue, growing up in rural California, and the privileged, problematic world of publishing. ...more

The Literary Value of Hip-Hop


At Electric Literature, Mensah Demary argues that there should be greater appreciation of hip-hop as a powerful storytelling medium, positing Nas as a master of literary narrative:

If presented with a choice, I’d rather discuss classic hip-hop albums than short story collections: the former evokes warmth, my need to consecrate my life to a certain fidelity and pure aural bliss channeled into nighttime sessions in the bedroom, lights off, completely enveloped by sound, while the latter invokes the image of a bottomless pit.


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The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Idra Novey


Swati Khurana talks with novelist and translator Idra Novey about the challenges and joys of translation, the idiosyncrasies of language, the inextricable reception of women's writing and women's bodies, and much more. ...more

Victor in Key West

The Rumpus Interview with Victor LaValle


Victor LaValle discusses his latest book, The Ballad of Black Tom, patience, H.P. Lovecraft, and reinvention. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Lincoln Michel


Lincoln Michel talks about his debut short story collection, Upright Beasts, his interest in monsters, and what sources of culture outside of literature inspire him. ...more


The Rumpus Interview with Megan Kruse


Author Megan Kruse talks about her debut novel, Call Me Home, queer characters in rural places, sibling relationships, and how the music of Lucinda Williams inspires her. ...more


The Rumpus Interview with Kate Walbert


Author Kate Walbert talks about her new novel, The Sunken Cathedral, about the way cities change over time, and her approach to using footnotes in fiction. ...more


The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Patrick O’Neil


Patrick O'Neil talks about his debut memoir Gun Needle Spoon, being big in France, the drug/recovery genre, and writing through trauma. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Maggie Nelson


Author Maggie Nelson talks about matrophobia, “sodomitical maternity,” breaking down categories between genres of writing, and her new book, The Argonauts. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Christian Kiefer


Writer, musician, and poet Christian Kiefer discusses his literary influences, the "beautiful, beat up, and weird town" that is Reno, and writing from the perspective of beasts in his new novel The Animals. ...more

Re-creations, Adaptations, and “Rip-offs”


Jesus’ Son is often considered the seminal work of Denis Johnson’s career. But recently Johnson called the book a “rip-off” of Isaac Babel’s early 20th century work, Red Cavalry. For The Millions, Nathan Scott McNamara contests Johnson’s assertion, arguing that “rip-off” is not the proper word to describe the influence of Red Cavalry on the author’s story collection:

In Jesus’ Son, the stories and execution certainly have a lot in common with Red Cavalry and — in considering them closely — it seems right for Johnson to acknowledge his debt.



Soul of a Whore and Purvis, by Denis Johnson

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As a writer, Denis Johnson has demonstrated a remarkable ability to polarize. On the one hand he has impressed some of the most prestigious awards committees in the United States. He has received a Guggenheim fellowship, won the National Book Award in 2007 for Tree of Smoke, and was also short-listed for the Pulitzer that same year.