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National Book Award winner and MacArthur Genius Fellow Charles Johnson reflects on the joys of being a grandparent in this warm, inspiring collection of wisdom and life lessons—the ideal gift for any new parent or grandparentAn award-winning novelist, philosopher, essayist, screenwriter, professor and cartoonist, Charles Johnson has held numerous impressive titles over the course of his incomparable career. Now, for the first time, with his trademark wisdom and philosophical generosity, he turns his attention to his most important role yet: grandparent. In Grand, Johnson shares stories from his life with his six-year-old grandson, Emery, weaving in advice and life lessons that stand the test of time. “Looking at the problems I see in the world around me,” Johnson writes, “I realize that there are so many things I want to say to him about the goodness and beauty that life offers. What are the perennial truths that I can impart to Emery that might make his journey through life easier or more rewarding?” Johnson shares these truths and more, offering profound meditations on family, race, freedom and creativity. Joyful, lucid and deeply comforting, Grand is Johnson at his most accessible and profound, an indispensable compendium for new grandparents and growing grandchildren alike, from one of America’s most revered thinkers.Show more
An award-winning novelist, philosopher, essayist, screenwriter, professor, and cartoonist, Charles Johnson has devoted his life to creative pursuit. His 1990 National Book Award-winning novel Middle Passage is a modern classic, revered as much for its daring plot as its philosophical underpinnings. For thirty-three years, Johnson taught and mentored students in the art and craft of creative writing. The Way of the Writer is his record of those years, and the coda to a kaleidoscopic, boundary-shattering career. Organized into six accessible, easy-to-navigate sections, The Way of the Writer is both a literary reflection on the creative impulse and a utilitarian guide to the writing process. Johnson shares his lessons and exercises from the classroom, starting with word choice, sentence structure, and narrative voice, and delving into the mechanics of scene, dialogue, plot, and storytelling before exploring the larger questions at stake for the serious writer. What separates literature from industrial fiction? What lies at the heart of the creative impulse? How does one navigate the literary world? And how are philosophy and fiction concomitant?Show more
After the Confederacy falls, newly freed slave Rutherford Calhoun is eager to avoid marrying a prim schoolteacher and boards the first ship he finds moored at a New Orleans port. Unbeknownst to Calhoun, the vessel is a slave ship enroute to Africa. On the return trip, Calhoun is put to work as a cabin boy and quickly assists the newly captured slaves in revolting against the drunken crew. This compelling adventure is filled with a perfect blend of colorful narrative, historical romance and suspense.Show more