Readers' Review: "Train Dreams" by Denis Johnson | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

The Many Rabbit Holes (Or Should We Say Labyrinths) Of 'Serial'

The thing about Serial and its endless rabbit holes is that no matter how you view the podcast, there's an endless supply of avenues you can explore and different conversations you can have.
NPR

Japan's Butter Shortage Whips Its Cake Makers Into A Frenzy

For the Japanese, Christmastime means sponge cake. But a nationwide butter shortage has lead to mandatory butter rationing, forcing cake bakers to seek out substitutes.
WAMU 88.5

Hogan Plans To Stick To Maryland Tax Cut Promise, Despite Budget Shortfall

The state of Maryland is facing budget shortfalls last year, but Governor-elect Larry Hogan says he is sticking to his campaign promise to cut taxes, but just don't expect specifics yet.

NPR

With Sony Hack, Nation State Attacks Go From Quiet To Overt

U.S. intelligence officials claim that North Korea was centrally involved in the hack against Sony. That's major news in the world of cyberwarfare, where nation states typically make covert attacks.

Leave a Comment

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