Debut Novelist at age 68 Tells Coming of Age Story in the Segregated South
It took Joel Johnson seven years to write his first novel, Never, and he couldn’t have done it a day sooner he says.
Today we discuss why, despite growing up in Georgia, Joel created a fictional town for Never. He shares some of the research he used to weave historical events into his story, narrated by a young boy named Little. We look at how Joel – a white middle-class, professional male – approached the challenge of writing about the life of a black maid called Bit, working on the white side of Jim Crow’s South. And why Bit quickly became his favorite character.
About Joel F. Johnson
A graduate of Harvard, Joel made stops in Alta, Utah, Boulder, and Manhattan before settling in Concord, MA. His collection of poems Where Inches Seem Miles, was selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best independent books of 2014. Never is Joel F. Johnson’s first novel.