Danny Johnson


The Last Road Home (2016)

From Pushcart Prize nominee Danny Johnson comes a powerful novel that explores race relations, first love, and coming-of-age in North Carolina in the 1950s and ‘60s.

At eight years old, Raeford “Junebug” Hurley has known more than his share of hard lessons. After the sudden death of his parents, he goes to live with his grandparents on a farm surrounded by tobacco fields and lonesome woods. There he meets Fancy Stroud and her twin brother, Lightning, the children of black sharecroppers on a neighboring farm. As years pass, the friendship between Junebug and bright, compassionate Fancy takes on a deeper intensity. Junebug, aware of all the ways in which he and Fancy are more alike than different, habitually bucks against the casual bigotry that surrounds them—dangerous in a community ruled by the Klan.

On the brink of adulthood, Junebug is drawn into a moneymaking scheme that goes awry—and leaves him with a dark secret he must keep from those he loves. And as Fancy, tired of saying yes’um and living scared, tries to find her place in the world, Junebug embarks on a journey that will take him through loss and war toward a hard-won understanding. At once tender and unflinching, The Last Road Home delves deep into the gritty, violent realities of the South’s turbulent past, yet evokes the universal hunger for belonging.

"I just finished reading Danny's superb and haunting novel of growing up po folks in North Carolina tobacco country. Can't recommend it strongly enough."
Joseph L. Galloway, author of We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young

'Not since Breece D’J Pancake has a writer the likes of Danny Johnson emerged from the South with all the glory and hell of life attached and intact in his fiction. Add in a measure of Tim O’Brien’s style of presenting the reality of military in fiction and you still have only a glimmer of [his] storytelling.' Sally Drumm, President, MilSpeak Foundation Other Works

  • Harry and Bo and Other Stories from a Rambling Mind, published by Milspeak Books
  • "Epiphany" (an essay), published by South Writ Large (2016)
  • "Absence of Color", published in Fox Chase Review (2014)
  • "Ghost", published in Henry Tonn's War Veterans Anthology (2012)
  • One story published in the anthology "The Best of Fuquay Reading Series" (2012)
  • "Fast Dance" (creative non-fiction), published by Southern Writ (2012)
  • "Henry Williams", published by Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal (2012)
  • Two stories published in the anthology "The Best of Fuquay Reading Series" (2011)
  • Two stories published in the anthology "The Best of Raleigh Reading Series" (2011)
  • "Grooving," published by The Flash Fiction Offensive (2011)
  • "A Boyfriend Conversation", published in the Heartbeats Anthology (2011)
  • "Tidepools and Tag", published in the Sheepshead Review (2010)
  • "Dancing With My Shadow", published in Creative Aspirations (2010)
  • "Imagining Ernest", published in Zouch Magazine & Miscellany (2010)
  • "A Drunken Conversation With My Shadow In The Graveyard", published in The Camel Saloon (2010)
  • "An American Dream", published in The Legendary (2010)