I’m really looking forward to sharing this discussion with Toni Ann Johnson. I loved this collection! We will be talking about the story “Time Travel” winner of the 2021 Miller Audio Prize. Please listen to the story at the link below before you tune in to our podcast discussion.
This is the last post of 2022. Thanks so much to the Grosse Pointe Public Library in Michigan and Pages Bookshop in Detroit for supporting us throughout the year. We will be on hiatus until February 2023. Please message me if there are any particular writers you would like to hear on the show.
Happy New Year!
Bio: Toni Ann Johnson is the winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her short story collection Light Skin Gone to Waste was published by the University of Georgia Press in the fall of 2022. She is also an accomplished novelist, screenwriter, and playwright. Having grown up in Monroe, New York, in one of the first Black families to live there, many of Johnson’s short stories reflect her experience as a person of color. Johnson’s essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Emerson Review, Xavier Review, and many other publications. Her first novel, Remedy for a Broken Angel, was nominated for a 2015 NAACP Image Award. Her novella Homecoming won Accents Publishing’s novella contest and was published in May 2021. Johnson has won the Humanitas Prize and the Christopher Award for her screenplay of the ABC film Ruby Bridges, as well as a second Humanitas Prize for Crown Heights, which aired on Showtime Television. She also co-wrote the popular dance movie Step Up 2: The Streets. Johnson has been a Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab Fellow, A Callaloo Writer’s Workshop Fellow (2016), and she’s received support for her writing from The Hurston/Wright Foundation, The Prague Summer Program for Writers, and the One Story Summer Conference.
Flannery O’Connor series editor Roxane Gay says of the collection, “Toni Ann Johnson’s Light Skin Gone to Waste is one of the most engrossing short story collections I’ve read in recent memory. These interconnected stories about a black family living in a predominantly white suburb of New York City are impeccably written, incisive, often infuriating, and unforgettable. At the center of many of these stories is Philip Arrington, a psychologist who tries to reshape the world to his liking as he moves through it, regardless of the ways his actions affect the people in his intimate orbit. With a deft eye for detail, crisp writing, and an uncanny understanding of human frailties, Toni Ann Johnson has created an endlessly interesting American family portrait.”
**Content Warning: During our podcast discussion, a racial epithet is used by the author to describe a racist incident that happened to her. Adult content/profanity as well.
Please listen to our discussion on:
or wherever you get your podcasts!
Toni Ann Johnson’s book, Light Skin Gone to Waste is available at Bookshop here or Amazon here.