As readers, we spend our lives trying to see the world from other perspectives. We seek to feel as others feel, as they have felt—all of those people across time and place whom our own lives will never allow us to meet.
This (for now) is less about Denis Johnson than about the way that following our favorite authors opens unexpected conversations, permitting chance encounters with writers we otherwise might not have met. It’s like one friend guaranteeing that we’ll enjoy the company of another.
My start-of-the-year reading of Johnson’s work opened the door to Leonard Gardner and his slim masterpiece Fat City (1969).