Charles Johnson

Charles R. Johnson is an American writer, philosopher, academic, and artist whose award-winning work ranges from African-American philosophical fiction to nonfiction in the areas of literature, writing, African American studies, philosophy, and Eastern spiritual traditions, particularly Buddhism.

Dharma Matters: Women, Race, and Tantra

Jan Willis was among the first Westerners to encounter exiled Tibetan teachers abroad in the late sixties, instantly finding her spiritual and academic home.

Turning the Wheel: Essays on Buddhism and Writing

"Were it not for the Buddhadharma, says Charles Johnson in his preface to Turning the Wheel, "I'm convinced that, as a black American and an artist, I would not have been able to successfully negotiate my last half century of life in this country.

Dr. King’s Refrigerator and Other Bedtime Stories

A sly, witty, and insightful collection of short stories that revolve around ethical and philosophical decision-making.

It’s Life as I See it: Black Cartoonists in Chicago, 1940–1980

“An important and groundbreaking collection, bringing together important voices and biographical context illustrating four decades of Black perspectives on everything from daily life to the Civil Rights Movement.

Taming the Ox: Buddhist Stories and Reflections on Politics, Race, Culture, and Spiritual Practice

This wide and varied collection of essays, reviews, and short stories offers incisive views on politics, race, and Buddhism. Johnson notes that in his life the two activities that have anchored him and reinforce each other are creative production and spiritual practice.

Africans in America: America's Journey through Slavery

The companion volume to a public television series, this extraordinary examination of slavery in America features a four-part history by poet and performance artist Patricia Smith and a dozen fictional narratives by National Book Award–winning novelist Charles Johnson.


Word Works: Charles Johnson on Storytelling and the Alpha Narrative

In his essay "Storytelling and the Alpha Narrative," Johnson writes, "All technique, craft, and literary theory we accumulate as writers must be in the service of that most deceptively simple and yet most difficult of achievements - delivering undamaged a whopping good, imaginative, and original sto...

Night Hawks: Stories

Spanning genres from science fiction to realism, this eclectic, masterful collection of stories is tied together by Buddhist themes and displays all the grace, heart, and insight for which Charles Johnson has long been known.

Charles Johnson: by the Book

The author of “Middle Passage” and, most recently, “The Way of the Writer” agrees with Sartre: “If literature isn’t everything, it’s not worth a single hour of someone’s trouble.”


Charles Johnson Interview Part 2

January 28, 2010 - Renowned Author and Professor Emeritus, Dr. Charles Johnson visits with American Book Review Publisher Dr. Jeffrey DiLeo.


Jan Willis