Josephine W. Johnson’s 1990 obituary:
Josephine Johnson, a novelist and nature writer whose first novel, ”Now in November,” won the 1935 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, died of pneumonia on Tuesday in Clearmont Mercy Hospital, Batavia, Ohio. She was 79 years old and lived in Mount Carmel, Ohio.
Miss Johnson wrote 10 books of fiction, poetry and essays. ”The Inland Island,” published in 1969, is a month-by-month record of nature’s year on her 37-acre farm in Ohio. It was praised by Edward Abbey in The New York Times for its ”delicate marvels, compassionate observations and – strangest and lovliest of all – passionate denunciations.” The work has been credited with helping to popularize ecological concerns.
Miss Johnson’s other books were ”Year’s End” (1937), ”Wildwood” (1946), ”Jordanstown” (1937), ”Winter Orchard and Other Stories” (1935), ”The Sorcerer’s Son and Other Stories” (1965), ”The Dark Traveler” (1963), ”Seven Houses: A Memoir of Time and Places” (1973) and ”Circle of Seasons” (1974).
In an essay in The New York Times in 1969, Miss Johnson wrote angrily of those she saw as despoilers of the environment: ”A vast throng of people are working night and day, destroying all they still call their native land. Who are these people. . . . Who pollutes the air? Who cuts down the trees, builds houses on the stripped hillsides? Who poisons the sheep, shoots the deer, oils the beaches, dams and rivers, dries up the swamps, concretes the counyrysides?”
In recent years Miss Johnson wrote for Country Journal, McCall’s and Ohio Magazine.
She married Grant G. Cannon, editor in chief of the Farm Quarterly, in 1942. He died in 1969. Miss Johnson is survived by two daughters, Annie Cannon of Camptonville, Calif., and Carol Cannon of Philadelphia; a son, Terrence Cannon of Hoboken, N.J., and two sisters, Majorie McConnell of Fanwood, N.J., and Florence Johnson of St. Louis.