Katharine Johnson northwoods Minnesota lake at sunset

Katharine Johnson

about the author

I am a teacher and writer who grew up on a rocky farm on the Mesabi Iron Range of north­ern Min­neso­ta. It is there I heard many lan­guages and tast­ed diverse eth­nic foods of the peo­ple who lived there. My own grand­par­ents emi­grat­ed from Fin­land. When writ­ing, I dig into a deep well of fam­i­ly sto­ries, eth­nic lore, and per­sis­tent night dreams.

It seems that my favorite fic­tion author is the one whose book is on my lap at the time. To name a few that I read over and over: Sher­man Alex­ie, Karen Cush­man, Amy Tan, Ellen Hop­kins, David Bal­dac­ci, Louise Erdrich, Sharon Creech, Neil Gaiman…. If you notice any log­ic in this list, let me know. I’ve nev­er been able to find it.

I write fic­tion. Most­ly his­tor­i­cal fic­tion. In the process of writ­ing, I have dis­cov­ered that fic­tion is often so entan­gled with the truth that it is impos­si­ble to sep­a­rate the two. That’s what I like about it.

Some real bor­ing facts about me are:

  • I live in rur­al Clo­quet, Min­neso­ta on the Fond du Lac Reservation.
  • My guilty plea­sures are old-fash­ioned choco­late malts.
  • I earned a dou­ble major in Span­ish and Eng­lish from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta and have taught both as well as being a high school librarian.
  • I have a mas­ters in edu­ca­tion­al media from the Col­lege of St. Scholastica.
  • My short sto­ries and poems have been pub­lished in var­i­ous antholo­gies and magazines.

Now for the fun facts:

  • Machu Pic­chu fas­ci­nates me, as do all the pyra­mids around the world.
  • I stud­ied in Mex­i­co for two sum­mers and hailed peso cabs to ride up and down the Reforma.
  • Once, and only once, I rode in Superman’s car. (Christo­pher Reeve’s Volk­swag­on Beetle)
  • The real Archibald “Moon­light” Gra­ham of Field of Dreams fame was my school doctor.
  • I have nev­er danced with Bob Dylan.
Katharine Johnson
Katharine John­son