B S Johnson's picture

B S Johnson


(Bryan Stanley Johnson)
UK flag (1933 - 1973)

B. S. Johnson (Bryan Stanley Johnson) was an English experimental novelist, poet, literary critic and film-maker.

Johnson was born into a working class family, was evacuated from London during World War II and left school at sixteen to work variously as an accounting clerk, bank junior and clerk at Standard Oil Company. However, he taught himself Latin in the evenings, attended a year's pre-university course at Birkbeck College, and with this preparation, managed to pass the university exam for King's College London.

After he graduated with a 2:2, Johnson wrote a series of increasingly experimental and often acutely personal novels. Travelling People (1963) and Albert Angelo (1964) were relatively conventional (though the latter became famous for the cut-through pages to enable the reader to skip forward), but The Unfortunates (1969) was published in a box with no binding (readers could assemble the book any way they liked) and House Mother Normal (1971) was written in purely chronological order such that the various characters' thoughts and experiences would cross each other and become intertwined, not just page by page, but sentence by sentence. Johnson also made numerous experimental films, published poetry, and wrote reviews, short stories and plays.
 
Non fiction
thumbthumbthumbthumb
 
Anthologies containing stories by B S Johnson
thumb
 
Short stories
Sheela-Na-Gig (1964)