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
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