Poem: An Analysis Of Hurricanes Anonymous By Adam Johnson

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In a simplistic sense, the duty of an author is to bring the reader into an unfamiliar world. Though this task may seem easy enough, there are infinite considerations that the writer has to account for to make the environment of the story feel realistic. In his newest collection Fortune Smiles, Adam Johnson expertly allows us into his worlds, often in the most ambitious fashion possible. By choosing particularly emotionally harrowing subject matter, Johnson runs the risk of losing the more empathetic members of his readership. However, in addition to being a beautiful writer, Adam Johnson deftly incorporates humor at the perfect moments to add levity to otherwise terrible situations. Using jokes in unexpected places can make the reader both uncomfortable and relieved simultaneously. By the end of…show more content…
The vast majority of Johnson’s readership only experienced Katrina through news reports, so it’s challenging for an author to help us experience what the disaster felt like in a way that feels authentic. One way Johnson does this is by introducing objects that are familiar to us and then uses them in an unexpected manner. For instance, he describes Nonc, the UPS Driver, as “a guy who has lately improvised toilet paper from first-aid compresses, a miniature New Testament and the crust of Chuck E.’s own pizza” (42). The humor in this passage helps undercut the depravity of the image, helping the reader understand the sadness of the situation without being too mortified to move on. Johnson takes objects that are in-and-of-themselves funny, in addition to the humorous concept of toilet paper, and combines them in a way that is profoundly sad. This disorienting fusion of light and dark is a defining characteristic of Adam Johnson’s writing, and it ensures that the reader keeps turning the

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