Thereafter Johnnie

by Carolivia Herron



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 01/09/2001

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 184
ISBN : 9780759614857

About the Book

Thereafter Johnnie by Carolivia Herron weaves together beauty, sorrow and unwavering tragic vision attached to the fall of an African American family through incest. The plot is simple, a liaison between a father, John Christopher, and Patricia, one of three daughters, produces their daughter Johnnie. This story becomes intricate through visionary lyricism; through connections with slavery, religion, and the flaws of national destiny; through echoes of African American folk rhythms and the epic poems of Europe and Africa; and most importantly, through thematic correlation with Washington, D.C., Washington City. The novel has seven characters: the parents Camille and John Christopher; the three daughters Cynthia Jane, Patricia, and Eva; the child of incest, Johnnie; and the Mexican woman Diotima who is Patricia's friend and Johnnie's caretaker. Tragedy is converted into epic as their seven voices interlace, creating the complex lyrical texture of Thereafter Johnnie, whose closest conscious literary parent is John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

About the Author

Carolivia Herron has had a passionate attachment to the epic literary genre ever since her reading of Milton's Paradise Lost when she was eleven years old helped her to cope with the death of her infant brother. All of Herron’s tasks in writing, scholarship and educational multimedia development relate to her love of epic, and are in conversation with the epics of Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. Her doctorate in Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania focuses on comparative epic, and she has shared this love of epic in professorial appointments at the University of Binghamton, California State University, Chico, Mount Holyoke College, and Harvard University where she founded the Epicenter for the study of Epic and Oral Poetry. During Spring 2001 she will be teaching “Star Trek as American Epic” at Grinnell College. The original Epicenter has evolved into Herron's private company, Epicenter Literary Software, which develops multimedia education programs based on scenes and stories of Washington, DC. Her particular focus is African American Epic Tradition, and her controversial children's book, Nappy Hair, is actually an application of her developing concept of African American call and response as an epic structure. Nappy Hair is excerpted from Herron’s novel in progress, Asenath and Our Song of Songs which is a fictional retelling of the path of African epic into African American consciousness as well as a dramatization of the intersection between African and Jewish cultures. Herron currently lives in her home town of Washington, DC where she directs the e-mail mentoring program for children, PAUSE (Potomac Anacostia Ultimate Story Exchange).

Find out more about Carolivia Herron and her work at the following web addresses: