Denis Johnson is one of the finest living writers in America and has been for a few decades now. His 1992 short story collection Jesus’ Son is firmly planted in my top ten favorite books. If you haven’t read any of his work, I highly recommend the novels Angels, Already Dead: A California Gothic , Resuscitation Of A Hanged Man and the aforementioned Jesus’ Son. For fan’s of Jack Kerouac, Robert Stone and Thomas Pynchon.
In this video shot at Cornell University in 2009, Johnson reads from The Starlight On Idaho, a short story originally published in Playboy in 2007.
The Starlight On Idaho describes a family of criminals & maladjusted characters. Narrator is Mark Cassandra - in a rehabilitation center because of alcohol addiction, & story is in the form of a series of often imaginary letters to various people (including to Pope, Satan, & I think god himself too!) Title of the story comes from the name of rehab center: Starlight Addiction Recovery Center, Idaho Avenue, Ukiah, California.
There’s a touch of Richard Brautigan in this.