Josephine Winslow Johnson

Franklin Library Josephine Winslow Johnson books

Now in November - Library of Pulitzer Prize Classics - 1976

Josephine Winslow Johnson

Josephine Winslow Johnson (1910–1990) was an American novelist and short story writer, best known for her poignant exploration of human relationships and the complexities of the human condition during the early to mid-20th century. Born on June 20, 1910, in Spokane, Washington, Johnson's literary career was marked by a keen understanding of the social and cultural dynamics of her time. Johnson's early life was shaped by the Great Depression, and her experiences growing up in a tumultuous period had a profound impact on her work. She attended the University of Washington and later earned a degree in literature from Stanford University. Her academic background laid the foundation for her later literary endeavors.

In 1934, Josephine Winslow Johnson burst onto the literary scene with her debut novel, Now in November. The novel, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1935, is a haunting portrayal of a struggling Midwestern farm family facing economic hardship during the Dust Bowl era. Johnson's evocative prose and keen insights into the human psyche captivated readers and critics alike, establishing her as a formidable voice in American literature. Following the success of her debut novel, Johnson continued to explore themes of family, identity, and societal upheaval in her subsequent works. Her novels, including Jordanstown (1937) and Winter Orchard (1939), delved into the complexities of human relationships and the impact of external forces on individual lives.

Despite her early success, Johnson's literary output declined in the following decades. She took a hiatus from writing to focus on family and personal pursuits. However, her contributions to American literature continued to be recognized, and in 1977, she was awarded the O. Henry Award for her short story The Children. Josephine Winslow Johnson passed away on February 27, 1990, leaving behind a literary legacy that continues to resonate with readers interested in the human experience and the intricate tapestry of life. Her works remain important contributions to the canon of American literature, offering a timeless exploration of the challenges and triumphs of the human spirit.

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