Tribute to the Life and Work of Denis Johnson
Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
with Sean San Jose, Octavio Solis, Vendela Vida, and special guests
celebrating his final collection of short fiction
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden
from Random House
Twenty-five years after Jesus' Son, a haunting new collection of short stories on mortality and transcendence, from National Book Award winner and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Denis Johnson
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is the long-awaited new story collection from Denis Johnson. Written in the luminous prose that made him one of the most beloved and important writers of his generation, this collection finds Johnson in new territory, contemplating the ghosts of the past and the elusive and unexpected ways the mysteries of the universe assert themselves.
Finished shortly before Johnson's death, this collection is the last word from a writer whose work will live on for many years to come.
Denis Johnson was the author of nine novels, one novella, two books of short stories, five collections of poetry, two collections of plays, and one book of reportage. Among other honors, his novel Tree of Smoke won the 2007 National Book Award and was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, and Train Dreams was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize.
Advance praise for The Largesse of the Sea Maiden
"Mesmerizing . . . psychologically revelatory, spiritually inquisitive, and grimly funny stories . . . Johnson will be remembered and revered as an incisive storyteller fluent in the comedy and tragedy of human confusion and the transcendence of compassion."—Booklist (starred review)
"American literature suffered a serious loss with Johnson's death. These final stories underscore what we’ll miss. . . . Johnson is best known for his writing about hard-luck cases—alcoholics, thieves, world-weary soldiers. But this final collection ranges up and down the class ladder; for Johnson, a sense of mortality and a struggle to make sense of our lives knew no demographic boundaries."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"An instant classic . . . A masterpiece of deep humanity and astonishing prose . . . It’s filled with Johnson’s unparalleled ability to inject humor, profundity, and beauty—often all three—into the dark and the mundane alike. These characters have been pushed toward the edge; through their searches for meaning or clawing just to hold on to life, Johnson is able to articulate what it means to be alive, and to have hope."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)