"Johnson comes on like a flood, vivacious, mile-a-minute, with an uncontrollable eloquence." ~New York Review of Books
We should rightly take note today that respected author and critic, Jill Johnston, passed away from the complications of heart surgery on Saturday, September 18. She was 81.
Younger readers of the Huffington Post may not be familiar with her name, but it would serve them well to look at her legacy, which is stunning in it breadth, scope and social relevance. A longtime writer for the Village Voice, an author and cultural commentator, Johnston was always years ahead of her time. The literary world has lost a giant.
Johnston, in some circles, is remembered most as one of the first intelligent and honest champions of the lesbian and gay movements of the early 1970s. In later years, Johnston referred to her book Lesbian Nation as "a period piece," preferring to discuss England's Child, "long the book I had seen as my life's goal."
Johnston offered these insights and more in a piece she offered the Huffington Post on Sarah Palin in 2008.
You can find Johnston's take on her own biography on her website.
One starts somewhere. My career as a writer began in the minimal and marginalized field of dance criticism. Despite, or perhaps because of, its low place on the cultural totem pole, I had a compelling ambition to excel at it and make it my own.