Name of the World

ISBN-10: 0060929650
ISBN-13: 9780060929657
Edition: N/A
Authors: Denis Johnson
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Description: The acclaimed author of Jesus' Son and Already Dead returns with a beautiful, haunting, and darkly comic novel. The Name of the World is a mesmerizing portrait of a professor at a Midwestern university who has been patient in his grief after an  More...

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Book details

List price: $12.99
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 4/14/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 144
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.242
Language: English

The acclaimed author of Jesus' Son and Already Dead returns with a beautiful, haunting, and darkly comic novel. The Name of the World is a mesmerizing portrait of a professor at a Midwestern university who has been patient in his grief after an accident takes the lives of his wife and child and has permitted that grief to enlarge him. Michael Reed is living a posthumous life. In spite of outward appearances -- he holds a respectable university teaching position; he is an articulate and attractive addition to local social life -- he's a dead man walking. Nothing can touch Reed, nothing can move him, although he observes with a mordant clarity the lives whirling vigorously around him. Of his recent bereavement, nearly four years earlier, he observes, "I'm speaking as I'd speak of a change in the earth's climate, or the recent war." Facing the unwelcome end of his temporary stint at the university, Reed finds himself forced "to act like somebody who cares what happens to him. " Tentatively he begins to let himself make contact with a host of characters in this small academic town, souls who seem to have in common a tentativeness of their own. In this atmosphere characterized, as he says, "by cynicism, occasional brilliance, and small, polite terror," he manages, against all his expectations, to find people to light his way through his private labyrinth. Elegant and incisively observed, The Name of the World is Johnson at his best: poignant yet unsentimental, replete with the visionary imaginative detail for which his work is known. Here is a tour de force by one of the most astonishing writers at work today.

Denis Johnson was born in Munich, Germany in 1949. He was raised in many countries throughout the world before attending college at the University of Iowa. Along with writing several volumes of poetry, Johnson has written short stories for The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Paris Review, and Best American Short Stories. He has written the novels Resuscitation of a Hanged Man and Already Dead. Johnson was the recipient of an Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and the Robert Frost Award. Johnson has also received fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Whiting Foundation. His novel, Tree of Smoke (2007), won the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Johnson's novel, Train Dreams (2012) received a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

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