WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

Filed Under:

Readers' Review: "Train Dreams" by Denis Johnson

For the May Readers Review, we chose a work that was shortlisted for this year's Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It's a novella by Denis Johnson titled "Train Dreams." It begins in 1917 in the Idaho panhandle. The central character works the railroads and virgin forests that fueled America's push for economic progress. He experiences tragedy and wonder, and his life echoes the hardship and beauty of a nation on the cusp of radical change. He's quietly heroic, simply by surviving. Diane and her guests discuss this portrait of a man and a place, by the author of "Tree of Smoke," winner of the 2007 National Book Award.

Read An Excerpt

Excerpted from TRAIN DREAMS by DENIS JOHNSON. Published in 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright © 2002 by DENIS JOHNSON. All rights reserved.

NPR

Oliver Sacks, Renowned Neurologist And Author, Dies At 82

His book Awakenings, about reviving patients from a catatonic state was turned into a 1990 film. He also wrote more than a dozen other books, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.
NPR

Correction: Italians And Celiac Disease

A correction to our story about gluten-free options in Italy, the land of pizza and pasta. Italian children are not routinely tested for celiac disease, as we incorrectly reported.
NPR

Sanders Gaining On Clinton. '2008 All Over Again'?

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has the energy, the enthusiasm and now showing strength in the poll numbers as the Democratic nomination contest looks more and more like a race every day.
NPR

Uber Hires Hackers To Secure Driverless Cars

NPR's Rachel Martin reports that the ride-sharing service Uber is hiring experts to protect driverless cars from being hacked.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.