b. 1975

By Marilyn Johnson AARP February 24, 2006 After a few decades, you get accustomed to picking up a Joyce Carol Oates book without marveling at its existence—another inspired, ingenious, and compulsively readable tale from someone whose books flow past in a glittering...

A Place to Heal

By Marilyn Johnson Life June, 1995 Justin Simpson is six years old and playing with a long plastic bat when two strangers pull up to the curb in front of his grandparents’ house. He scowls. Who are these guys? It’s the photographer and his assistant. They get out of...

In the Bloom of Life

By Marilyn Johnson Life April, 1995 If you take her out of history and plant her in the wilderness, it’s easy to see the person she is. During a dry spell in 1984, she was driving around the Texas hill country with a friend, hunting for fields of wildflowers in bloom....

Soul Mates

By Marilyn Johnson New York Woman September 1987 For all I know, people have been slipping out of this world in occupational clusters for years. Four journalists, I noticed, passed on one day last year, and their obituaries filled a whole corner of the newspaper. What...

Boy, 8

By Marilyn Johnson Life June 1, 1992 I didn’t want to be part of anything when I was a teenager, especially my family. There were seven of us, and they pressed in on me. So I buried my head in books. My reading irritated my parents; books were a narcotic I used right...

Philippe Petit: Slow Dancing on the High Wire

By Marilyn Johnson New York Woman October 1986 The first time I saw Philippe Petit he was walking an imaginary line across the floor of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. He was pale, slight, and red-haired, and he held his jaw and his balancing pole with fierce...

The Day The Fairytale Died

By Marilyn Johnson Life 1997 ONCE UPON A TIME Hundreds of years ago, she would have been beheaded. She was a fair maiden, a beautiful virgin born on a summer’s day, married on a summer’s day. Touchingly, she loved her prince. He loved her not. She did her duty to the...