Writing

Books

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More of This World or Maybe Another is a collection of award-winning short fiction about four outsiders whose unruly lives intersect on the back streets of New Orleans. Funny and haunting by turns, Johnson’s unforgettable characters are driven by something fragile and irresistible, a sputtering drive to love and be loved, in these “stunning stories . . . the kind that reveal, enlarge, and make living seem worth the trouble.” (Dorothy Allison)

Praise for More of This World or Maybe Another

“Precise and gorgeous language…A wonderful sense of humor..Pathos made over into something much more effective–a vision of all these people just doing the best they can. These are stunning stories…the kind that reveal, enlarge, and make living seem worth the trouble.” (Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina )

“What a pitch-perfect, utterly original, dazzlingly flexible narrative voice Barb Johnson has. Her collection of gritty, sad, funny stories from the Gulf Coast, More of This World or Maybe Another, is a truly exciting debut.” –Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain and Severance.

“Johnson’s stories hit hard, but her writing isn’t raw. In Johnson’s work, an empty oil tank can echo with romantic tension, and a man who ignorantly leaves his baby to overheat in his truck can still be forgiven. Johnson’s characters confront violence and tragedy, often of their own making, but they still reach the reader’s sympathies.” –Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Perfect lyrical descriptions, especially those of male-female interactions, how going to war changes soldiers, and how love can be damaged or destroyed, as Delia describes her partner Maggie’s affair as ‘a tear in my soul that just won’t heal.’ An insightful literary gem.” —Booklist

“In this book, the music is earned by muscular language, empathy and emotional courage. The writing alone is a rare, sweet joy. Like a drop of water from Delia’s leaky faucet, each story in this brilliant collection breaks open in a fit of shine.” –Susan Stinson, LambdaLiterary.org

“The stories in More of This World or Maybe Another are things of beauty…a rich, insightful collection.”–Denver Post

Buy the book:

Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, IndieBound,  Mrs. Dalloway’s,  Powell’s Books, Octavia Books, Garden District Book Shop or anywhere there are books, really.

Selected Stories

Oxford American Issue 66
“Beggars and Choosers” Baltimore Review
“Rider” Yemassee Journal
“The Invitation”  Oxford American
“Killer Heart” Glimmer Train Stories (winner of Short Story Award for New Writers) and Fifty-Two Stories 
“Keeping Her Difficult Balance” Guernica

Selected Essays

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“Reading on the Cheap in Mid-City: A Day with Barb Johnson,” Booklover’s Guide to New Orleans
“John Updike Writes Like a Girl,” The Southern Review
“For the Good Lies,” Don’t Quit Your Day Job: Acclaimed Authors and the Jobs They Quit
Excerpted essay in Rough South, Rural South: Region and Class in Recent Southern Literature
“On Getting a Late Start,” Glimmer Train Stories

Selected Interviews

Hobart
Pop Matters