Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Charles Johnson  

Pen Name: 

Genre: C:ADULT

Born: 1948 in Evanston, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Charles was born in Evanston and he attended Southern Illinois University.

Biographical and Professional Information

A writer, scholar and cartoonist, Johnson received his B.S. and M.A. from Southern Illinois University in 1971 and 1973 and his Ph.D. in philosophy from SUNY-Stony Brook in 1988.Recently retired, Johnson was the S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Endowed Professor of English at the University of Washington. While there, he also was the former director of the creative writing program at the University of Washington. He also served as fiction editor for the ''Seattle Review'' from l978-98.In his novels, ''Dreamer'' and ''Middle Passage'', Johnson directly addressed the issues of black life in America.Johnson sponsors the ''Marie Clair Davis Award in Creative Writing'', given to a secondary student at Evanston Township High School, and the ''Charles Johnson Student Fiction Award'', a national contest, at Southern Illinois University.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- """Oxherding Tale""" * Governor's Award for Literature, Washington State, 1983 """Being and Race""" * Govenor's Award for Literature, 1989 """Middle Passages""" * National Book Award, 1990 * Best American Short Stories, 1992 """Other Awards""" * Honorary doctorate in Humane Letters, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, 1995 * Honorary Doctor of Arts, Northwestern University, 1994 * Honorary Doctor of Letters degree, State University of New York at Stony Brook, l999 * Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award, Corporate Council for the Arts, 2000 * Achievement Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement and for Enhancing the Stature of Northwest Literature, Pacific Northwest Writers Association, 2001 * American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, 2002 * Distinguished Alumni Award, Evanston Township High School, 2003 * Stephen Henderson Award for Outstanding Contributions to African American Literature and Culture, American Literature Association, 2004 * Doctor of Humane Letters degree, Lewis and Clark College, 2006