CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
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Release: Dec. 20, 2000
(NOTE TO EDITORS: A photo of Denis Johnson is posted with the awards story
UI Writers' Workshop alumnus Denis Johnson wins 2000 Salon Book Award
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Denis Johnson, an alumnus and recent faculty member of
the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, is a winner in the 2000 Salon
Book Awards, conferred by the popular e-zine salon.com. Johnsons novel
"The Name of the World" is one of five Salon Book Award winners
The Salon citation reads, "This slim, nearly perfect novel is narrated
by Michael Reed, a man who has been suspended in a state of grief in the four
years since his wife and young daughter were killed in a car crash. He's at
the end of a temporary appointment teaching history at a picture-perfect Midwestern
university, and it's slowly sinking in that hes also at the end of his
rope. Alternately drifting, stumbling and crashing through the final days
of his brief academic career, he decides to start making contact with the
people around him, including a raunchy, free-spirited female student who takes
him into some unexpected territory.
"Denis Johnson nimbly merges his serious themes -- loss, sorrow, the
possibility of personal transformation -- with a feather-light satire of academic
silliness and inertia. The Name of the World is so graceful and
easygoing, its prose so full of charm and sly humor, that you barely register
its great ambition; Johnsons poignant, devastating gravity sneaks up
and taps politely on your shoulder."
The Salon Book Awards citation, and the full list of winners is available
on-line at <http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2000/12/18/bookawards/index.html>.
The original Salon review of the book: <http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2000/07/24/julyfiction/index.html/#title>.
The Salon website, which is a source of regular reviews and discussion of
literature, founded the Salon Book Awards in 1996.
Johnson most recently taught at the UI in 1993.
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