Josephine Johnson Papers
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Biographical / Historical Note

Standard biographical information on Josephine Winslow Johnson (Mrs. Grant Cannon) can be found in American novelists of today, by Henry Warfel, American Book Co., 1951; National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1960-1963, volume H; Who's who in American Women, 1968-1969; and Kunitz, Twentieth century authors, H.W.Wilson Col, 1942 edition and 1955 supplement.

A native of St. Louis, novelist, and short story writer, Josephine Johnson enjoyed a long and distinguished career during which she won a Pulitzer Prize for her first non-fiction novel, Now in November . Johnson attended Washington University from 1926 to 1931. In 1955, Washington University awarded her an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Johnson was actively interested in the problems of contemporary society and was a member of various organizations that deal with inequality and poverty, including the St. Louis Urban League, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Cooperative Consumers of St. Louis. Her fictional work is often based on her political and social attitudes. For example, Now in November , her award-winning novel, tells the story of a poor mid-western farm family devastated by a drought and Wildwood (1946) describes the plight of an unloved orphan girl.

The Josephine Johnson Papers are a rich group of materials. They contain numerous letters, principally from the 1930's, between Johnson and other literary figures. The balance of the Josephine Johnson Papers consists of manuscripts toward poems, articles, and novels as well as journals and papers from her years at Washington University. Of particular interest are the autograph notes and drafts and typescript drafts of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Now in November .