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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his acclaimed novel about North Korea, The Orphan Master's Son, Adam Johnson is one of America's most provocative and powerful authors. Critics have compared him to Kurt Vonnegut, David Mitchell, and George Saunders, but Johnson's new book will only further his reputation as one of our most original writers. Subtly surreal, darkly comic, both hilarious and heartbreaking, Fortune Smiles is a major collection of stories that gives voice to the perspectives we don't often hear, while offering something rare in fiction: a new way of looking at the world. In six masterly stories, Johnson delves deep into love and loss, natural disasters, the influence of technology, and how the political shapes the personal. "Nirvana," which won the prestigious Sunday Times short story prize, portrays a programmer whose wife has a rare disease finding solace in a digital simulacrum of the president of the United States. In "Hurricanes Anonymous"--first included in the Best American Short Stories anthology--a young man searches for the mother of his son in a Louisiana devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. "George Orwell Was a Friend of Mine" follows a former warden of a Stasi prison in East Germany who vehemently denies his past, even as pieces of it are delivered in packages to his door. And in the unforgettable title story, Johnson returns to his signature subject, North Korea, depicting two defectors from Pyongyang who are trying to adapt to their new lives in Seoul, while one cannot forget the woman he left behind.Unnerving, riveting, and written with a timeless quality, these stories confirm Johnson as one of America's greatest writers and an indispensable guide to our new century.Praise for Fortune Smiles"Masterful . . . Each [story] is a miniature demonstration of why his remarkable novel The Orphan Master's Son won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction."--The Washington Post "Entrancing."--O: The Oprah Magazine "Audacious . . . These six long, fearless stories explore dangerous territories, both personal and political."--San Francisco Chronicle "Remarkable . . . Fortune Smiles is the best short story collection since Tenth of December. . . . Johnson is one of America's greatest living writers."--The Huffington Post"Every one [of Johnson's stories] carves out its own little corner of weird, indelible humanity. [Grade:] A"--Entertainment Weekly"[A] bold and deeply wise collection."--BuzzFeed "[Johnson] is always perceptive and brave; his lines always sing and strut and sizzle and hush and wash and blaze over the reader."--The New York Times Book Review "Johnson packs more voice in his stories than most authors do in a novel."--Esquire "Johnson has a rare combination of inventiveness, intellectual pyrotechnics and emotional sophistication. . . . These stories are treasures."--BBC"[Johnson] serves up six sinewy stories that shock and surprise in his edgy, inviting Fortune Smiles. . . . [They're] compulsively readable tales about characters whose lives are largely ignored, undervalued, or simply uncharted and whose voices we seldom hear."--Elle"The stories in Fortune Smiles fizz with imagination, miniature worlds exploding onto the page. I loved this book!"--M. L. Stedman, author of The Light Between OceansFrom the Hardcover edition.
"Mr. Johnson has written a daring and remarkable novel, a novel that not only opens a frightening window on the mysterious kingdom of North Korea, but one that also excavates the very meaning of love and sacrifice." - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times"RIch with a sense of discovery...The year is young, but The Orphan Master's Son has an early lead on novel of 2012." - The Daily Beast"This is a novel worth getting excited about." - The Washington Post"[A] ripping piece of fiction that is also an astute commentary on the nature of freedom, sacrifice, and glory." - ElleAn epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery, The Orphan Master's Son follows a young man's journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world's most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea.Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother--a singer "stolen" to Pyongyang--and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.Considering himself "a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world," Jun Do becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress "so pure, she didn't know what starving people looked like."Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master's Son is also a riveting portrait of a world heretofore hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love. A towering literary achievement, The Orphan Master's Son ushers Adam Johnson into the small group of today's greatest writers.
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZEIn this epic, critically acclaimed tour de force, Adam Johnson provides a riveting portrait of a world rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love.NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST * DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE WINNER * LONGLISTED FOR THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION'S ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL * WINNER OF THE CALIFORNIA BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION * NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker * The Washington Post * Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly * The Wall Street Journal * Los Angeles Times * San Francisco Chronicle * Financial Times * Newsweek/The Daily Beast * The Plain Dealer * St. Louis Post-Dispatch * Milwaukee Journal Sentinel * Scott Turow, The Millions * Slate * Salon * BookPage * Shelf Awareness "The single best work of fiction published [this year] . . . The book's cunning, flair and pathos are testaments to the still-formidable power of the written word."--The Wall Street JournalPak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother--a singer "stolen" to Pyongyang--and an influential father who runs a work camp for orphans. Superiors in the state soon recognize the boy's loyalty and keen instincts. Considering himself "a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world," Jun Do rises in the ranks. He becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress "so pure, she didn't know what starving people looked like."Praise for The Orphan Master's Son"An exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart."--Pulitzer Prize citation"A daring and remarkable novel."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times"Gripping . . . Deftly blending adventure, surreal comedy and Casablanca-style romance, the novel takes readers on a jolting ride through an Orwellian landscape of dubious identity and dangerous doublespeak."--San Jose Mercury News"This is a novel worth getting excited about. . . . Adam Johnson has taken the papier-mâché creation that is North Korea and turned it into a real and riveting place that readers will find unforgettable."--The Washington Post"[A] brilliant and timely novel."--The Wall Street Journal"Remarkable and heartbreaking . . . To [the] very short list of exceptional novels that also serve a humanitarian purpose The Orphan Master's Son must now be added."--The New Republic"A triumph of imagination . . . [Grade:] A."--Entertainment Weekly"A spellbinding saga of subverted identity and an irrepressible love."--VogueLook for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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