Johnston is the author of Corpus Christi, a collection of short stories set in Texan hurricane country. Acts of violence and kindness, illness and forgiveness inform the world of these deeply felt works of fiction. Corpus Christi was named a Best Book of the Year by The Independent of London and The Irish Times, and has received The Southern Review’s Annual Short Fiction Award, the Texas Institute of Letters’ Debut Fiction Award, the Christopher Isherwood Prize, and the James Michener Fellowship.
Since the publication of Corpus Christi in 2004, Johnston has edited an anthology of creative writing exercises (Naming the World), become the Director of Creative Writing at Harvard, and written a documentary film (Waiting for Lightning) about his lifelong passion: skateboarding.
Johnston is a graduate of Miami University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the recipient of the Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers, a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, and a National Book Award for writers under 35. He has written essays for Slate.com and is a regular contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered.
Interview by Ben Mauk.
Ben Mauk asks Bret Anthony Johnston about his advice “write towards what scares you”: