Other Works by Alison Johnson
by Alison Johnson
Cumberland Press, 2013
Buy the paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon
The paperback edition can also be ordered at a
discounted price of $10 plus $4 s&h by mailing
a check for $14 to:
4 Wren Drive
Topsham, ME 04086
This biography is the only one offered for sale at Lamb House, Henry James's home in Rye, England.
Back cover description:
Henry James was not only a prolific novelist who wrote over twenty novels and more than a hundred novellas and tales, but also a voluminous correspondent. Even today, more than ten thousand of his letters are still extant. The letters between Henry James and his highly intelligent and perceptive parents and siblings present the biographer with a wealth of information about what was happening in his life and how he viewed it. In addition to this important family correspondence, thousands of letters that James wrote to friends and colleagues over his lifetime offer a rich source for exploring the life behind this literary genius.
Those who want to learn more about the life of Henry James but do not have time to read one of the multivolume biographies written about him will find Alison Johnson’s biography of a few hundred pages an enticing introduction to one of the world’s finest novelists. To enable readers to experience his mind and sensibility at work, Johnson includes long quotations from James’s letters and his autobiographical works. One intriguing section of the biography concerns his very close relationship to the novelist Constance Fenimore Woolson (expatriate niece of James Fenimore Cooper). Johnson includes excerpts from Woolson’s letters to James that indicate she was deeply in love with him and was saddened that his affection for her was not of a nature to lead to marriage. After Woolson jumped to her death from her apartment in Venice during a period of illness and depression, James rushed there from London and spent a few months helping her relatives close up her affairs, while at the same time availing himself of the opportunity to destroy any letters he had written to her that were still in her apartment.
Some of the passages Johnson includes from James’s correspondence also contain evidence about the nature of his infatuations in his later years with several much younger male artists and writers and the extent to which these infatuations may have led to actual sexual experience. Henry James’s own words may be the best summation of his struggle to understand his own feelings for those with whom he established intimate relationships: “Never say you know the last word about any human heart!”
A Family Memoir by Alison Johnson
Cumberland Press, 2008
Front Cover Endorsement
“In a sad way I enjoyed reading the account of your life and that of your father. It’s a saga relating how an obsession with money can really mess up a family.”
by Warren E. Buffett
This highly unusual family memoir opens with these paragraphs:
Two tons of silver and gold coins, hundreds of thousands of nickels, dimes, quarters, and gold pieces. They were under our beds, in the kitchen cupboards, up in the attics, in the bottom of dresser drawers, in holes in the ground. My father was obsessed with gathering up these coins and hiding them away in any likely spot in the houses and garages and store buildings he owned in our tiny town on the mid-Western prairie. Nothing could shake his belief that the total collapse of the American economy and government was just around the corner, a collapse that would bring anarchy and rioting in the streets.
With this shadow of Armageddon always hanging over him, Dad believed that he could save his family from disaster only by collecting as much gold and silver as he could lay his hands on.
This fear of a future calamity that might leave his family penniless so dominated Dad's thoughts that he failed to see how his blind absorption in amassing wealth created family problems that would lead to his oldest son's hopeless alcoholism and his wife's mental collapse. My sister grew up so insecure that she eventually turned to the stars for answers to the frustrations of her life, immersing herself in the study of astrology. In the fairy tale, King Midas's daughter was miraculously restored to life after she had been turned to stone by her father's desire for gold, but Dad's destructive influence on his family could not be so easily reversed.
Alison Johnson's website www.alisonjohnsonmemoir.com contains extracts and photos from her memoir as well as ordering information.
||Back Cover Endorsement
"It is an astonishing story. It is a very sad story. Very funny in places. Tragic-comic, I guess. And in this version you maintain for the most part that complexly mixed tone of disaster and almost burlesque—farce?—very well."
William H. Laird Professor of the Liberal Arts
|Alison Johnson's website www.alisonjohnsonmcs.com contains information about her books and DVDs on multiple chemical sensitivity, which can be ordered from that website.