(This program was originally broadcast on October 15, 2019)
Today, Tom’s guest for the hour is the award-winning novelist, literary scholar and artist, Charles Johnson.
Dr. Johnson is best-known as the author of Middle Passage, the epic novel about the 1830s slave trade for which he won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1990. At the time, he was only the second African-American man to have won the honor, after Ralph Ellison.
Johnson's other novels include Night Hawks, Dr. King’s Refrigerator, Dreamer, and Faith and the Good Thing.
In 1998, Dr. Johnson received a MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called "genius grant." In 2002, he received the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Dr. Johnson began his career in the 1960s as a cartoonist, creating comic strips and editorial cartoons for a variety of publications, including The Chicago Tribune, Ebony and Playboy. In addition to his novels, Charles Johnson has written numerous screenplays, essays, and children’s books.
Charles Johnson lives in Seattle, where he is professor emeritus at the University of Washington.
We livestreamed this conversation on WYPR's Facebook page. Watch the video here.
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