Orphan Master's Son and North Korea: A Reading and Discussion with Pulitzer Prize Winner Adam Johnson
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This year’s Pulitzer Prize winner in Fiction and Stanford Professor, Adam Johnson, will give a reading from his novel, The Orphan Master’s Son, which will be followed by a seminar on trauma narratives. The Orphan Master’s Son, set in North Korea, explores the depths of this totalitarian state in which being human is a citizen’s biggest challenge. In a place where even emotions are dictated by the Dear Leader’s oppressive national narrative, Johnson takes the reader into the intimate space of a man named Jun Do, who dangerously transcends this country’s psychological and physical boundaries to understand what it means to feel real love. In addition to beautiful prose and breathtaking storyline, The Orphan Master’s Son offers an unprecedented window into the politics, history, and culture of North Korea’s closed, mysterious world. In the seven years he spent researching the book, Johnson not only read widely about the country, he also interviewed defectors. And, in his attempt to give as much verisimilitude to his fictional setting as possible, he traveled to North Korea in 2007.