Fenton Johnson lives in San Francisco and Tucson but is often found hiking his native Kentucky. An award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction, he teaches at the University of Arizona and Spalding University, contributes to Harper's Magazine, and has been featured on Fresh Air.
In this lyrical yet finely argued book, Johnson sets out to show that being alone - so different from loneliness, its direct opposite, in fact - is absolutely essential to the creative life...meticulous, loving prose. -- Kathryn Hughes - The New York Times A work of staggering tenderness, intelligence and beauty...a new vision of self, community and home. This achingly honest and gorgeously written book should come with a warning: It will change you. -- Harriet Lerner, PhD, author of The Dance of Anger I love Fenton Johnson's sensibility. It's a joy and a balm to see the world through his eyes-and to rediscover solitude as our deepest and most powerful source of creativity and spirituality, even for people who are coupled. -- Susan Cain, author of Quiet and Quiet Power A fluid pastiche of memoir, social critique, literary criticism, mystical insights, and philosophical reflections...poetic yet profoundly accessible. -- Brian Bromberger - The Bay Area Reporter In studies of the lives of beloved artists, and in beautiful meditations on his own life, Fenton Johnson encourages us to understand solitariness as consecration, a fecund, rich condition for the pursuit of beauty. Fenton Johnson's writing is so companionable and wise that it enacts what it counsels...it converts sterile loneliness to creative solitude. -- Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness and What Belongs to You A treasure that I didn't know I was looking for, one that unearthed and validated buried truths. This small book is incredible, both profound and humane...And yes, it is deeply beautiful. Fenton Johnson is one of our great writers. -- Rabih Alameddine, author of The Angel of History and An Unnecessary Woman Part memoir, part critical study of writers and artists, part queer manifesto, At the Center of All Beauty is about Fenton Johnson's effort to live deliberately, which in his case means alone... This is a beautifully written book... Reading At the Center of All Beauty, I came to see that each of us, single or coupled, has access to an interior life, a center of beauty, if only, as Johnson forcefully argues, we are not afraid of silence, of listening, of solitude, and what it has to teach us. -- Daniel Burr - The Gay and Lesbian Review