Picture of author.

Adam Johnson (1) (1967–)

Autor(a) de The Orphan Master's Son

Para outros autores com o nome Adam Johnson, ver a página de desambiguação.

9+ Works 5,318 Membros 351 Críticas 4 Favorited

About the Author

Adam Johnson is currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University. He lives in San Francisco. Adam Johnson was born on July 12, 1967 in South Dakota. He received a BA in journalism from Arizona State University in 1992, a MFA from the writing program at McNeese State University in 1996, and a PhD mostrar mais in English from Florida State University in 2000. He is a writer and associate professor in creative writing at Stanford University. He founded the Stanford Graphic Novel Project. He is the author of several books including Emporium and Parasites Like Us. He won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2013 for The Orphan Master's Son and National Book Award for Fiction in 2015 for Fortune Smiles: Stories. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: Adam Johnson at the National Book Festival By slowking - Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28489411

Obras por Adam Johnson

The Orphan Master's Son (2012) 3,968 exemplares
Fortune Smiles: Stories (2015) 705 exemplares
Parasites Like Us (2003) 361 exemplares
Emporium: Stories (2002) 168 exemplares
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2015 (2015) — Editor — 106 exemplares
Shake girl : a graphic novel inspired by a true story (2009) — Contribuidor — 7 exemplares
pika-don () (2010) 1 exemplar

Associated Works

The Best American Short Stories 2009 (2009) — Contribuidor — 362 exemplares
Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times (2005) — Contribuidor — 254 exemplares
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016 (2016) — Contribuidor — 171 exemplares
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2014 (2014) — Contribuidor — 144 exemplares
Granta 127: Japan (2014) — Contribuidor — 125 exemplares
Best New American Voices 2000 (2000) — Contribuidor — 47 exemplares
Stumbling and Raging (2005) — Contribuidor — 22 exemplares

Etiquetado

Conhecimento Comum

Membros

Discussions

The Orphan Master's Son em 75 Books Challenge for 2020 (Agosto 2020)

Críticas

This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
---

If that doctor’s right, Nonc’s dad is going to die for sure this time. But the truth is, it’s just an event. Life’s full of events—they occur and you adjust, you roll and move on. But at some point, like when your girlfriend Marnie tells you she’s pregnant, you realize that some events are actually developments. You realize there’s a big plan out there you know nothing about, and a development is a first step in that new direction.

WHAT'S FORTUNE SMILES ABOUT?
This is a collection of short stories—longer than most short stories I end up talking about here, but not novella length by any means. I'm not remotely sure how to describe the book or the themes as a whole...I guess I could steal that line from Semisonic, "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." These stories occupy the overlap of the new beginning and the end of the other beginnings.

NIRVANA
Loss. Personal Grief. Dealing with disease, AI, and national grief. It was funny and gut-wrenching at the same time. I didn't expect effective and affecting speculative fiction to start this collection (I honestly didn't know what to expect, but definitely not that), but it was a dynamite start and raised my expectations for the rest.

HURRICANES ANONYMOUS
This is not your typical post-natural disaster story. I don't know what to say beyond that. I mean, I guess you could say there are somethings that are worse than the devastation a hurricane leaves in its wake—and we see at least one example of it here.

Other than to note the above quotation, the only thing I wrote about this was "I really don't know what to think of it, but I'm glad I read it." That kind of applies to the collection as a whole, but it really describes my reaction to this story.

INTERESTING FACTS
This was hard to read—the emotions are so raw. This story is about the collapse of a marriage and the damage cancer wreaks—on the lives of the person with it and those around them.

GEORGE ORWELL WAS A FRIEND OF MINE
Years after the fall of the Berlin Wall—and everything that went with that—we spend some time watching the former Warden of a Stasi prison. His wife has left him, his adult daughter is having questions about him, and he's still trying to adjust to the world he finds himself in and what the world thinks of his former career.

This was powerful stuff. I don't know what else to say—for the longest time, you find yourself pulling for a guy you'd typically think was a monster (thankfully, while never thinking he was a stand-up guy). And then...well, maybe your perspective shifts a bit.

DARKNESS FALLS
I could not finish this one—I'm willing to believe that there's a decent ending to this, and there was a compelling reason to deal with this amount of darkness. But, I just couldn't finish it because of the subject matter.

FORTUNE SMILES
This story is about a couple of North Korean men who defected to the South (one willingly, the other possibly less-so). Culture shock isn't the right way to describe what they're going through. I hope this doesn't come across as dismissive—but it's almost like Brooks Hatlen's time after being paroled in The Shawshank Redemption, that's the quickest way I have to describe their adjustment.

This story is just stunningly good, and it makes sense that the collection is named for it.

SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT FORTUNE SMILES?
This wasn't a collection I could sit down and read back-to-back stories in. Frequently I had to take a day or more off between them (and sometimes I ended up taking more for other reasons)—Allyson Johnson's recent WWW Wednesday comments* indicate that I'm not the only one who reacts this way.

* I'm expecting her to tell me how wrong I am about "Darkness Falls," incidentally.

The stories, the points of view, the characters, circumstances, etc., etc., etc. are so varied from story to story that it's hard to consider them as a collection. But here's a few takeaways:

Adam Johnson can write. Seriously great stuff.
Adam Johnson will make you think. Particularly about things you haven't spent (much?) time on before or actively try to stay away from.
Adam Johnson will make you feel all sorts of things that you didn't expect.
Adam Johnson will not take a story where you expect or necessarily want him to. Until it's over and you'll regret your earlier dissension.
Did I mention that this man can write?

I don't know what else to say beyond that I'm glad Allyson put this on my radar, and I'm definitely recommending 5/6 of this to you all.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
hcnewton | 43 outras críticas | May 13, 2024 |
If life in N. Korea is anything like this book makes it seem ... it sucks worse than imagined. Not sure I enjoyed the writing"," though. Skipped around a bit .. hard to follow ... didn't really understand the main character.
 
Assinalado
vickiv | 287 outras críticas | Apr 2, 2024 |
It's an unlikely place for an American to set a novel, North Korea. How to write about life in The Hermit Kingdom, a place well known for being bizarrely strange and unknown to outsiders. I'd read one novel set there before, albeit before the partition of Korea: Chaim Potok's I Am the Clay, based I believe on Potok's experience as a chaplain in the Korean War. It was a grim, depressing, joyless novel. Now we have a few accounts of what life in the North is like from defectors who managed to escape it, and we have satellite photos of the prison camps that swallow whole families and of the utter darkness of the country at night due to the absence of electricity. In the acknowledgements page Adam Johnson thanks those who accompanied him on his travels in North Korea, so he's one of the few to have a first-hand sight of the place as well, abridged though that sight may be.

While I know North Koreans must be as full of the normal human drives and impulses and attitudes as humans anywhere, it's hard to shake the image of conformist drones performing in the Mass Games, or of brainwashed cultists sobbing at news of Kim Il-Sung's death. One of Johnson's triumps in this novel, for me anyway, is restoring to North Koreans their individuality. These characters are people like people anywhere, most of them people the reader can empathize with, though their actions and behaviors are truly and bizarrely warped by the monstrous society they live in.

The story is incredible, and incredibly riveting and entertaining. This is not a joyless novel. Jun Do grows up in a provincial orphanage, we later learn because his mother was taken by the squads that scour the countryside to transport pretty young women to the capital Pyongyang. He enters the army and is plucked to join a team that kidnaps Japanese citizens. From there he is taught English and sent to join the crew of a fishing vessel, where he is to listen to communications being sent by Americans. When a shipmate sets off on a defection attempt, the crew invents a story of a dastardly American sneak-attack in an effort to avoid all being sent to prison camps with their families, which involves Jun Do volunteering his arm to a shark attack. The story is deemed useful by the authorities, and Jun Do is whisked to Texas to tell it and show off his injuries as part of a quixotic diplomatic mission.

On his return, he is thrown into a prison camp. Having been to America, he is now a corrupted and unredeemable citizen, nevermind his brief hero status. And then suddenly the novels begins a new section: Jun Do is now the new Commander Ga, Minister of Prison Mines, married to national actress Sun Moon, and confidante of the Dear Leader... for, he knows all too well, only as long as he is useful. How on earth did this happen? The second half of the novel gradually reveals the story, the climax at a Pyongyang airport with the Dear Leader and an American cargo plane, and the denouement with Jun Do/Commander Ga tortured and questioned.

It's a brilliant story, and sheds new and fascinating light on that bizarre nation of North Korea. And now I'm exceedingly curious about how Adam Johnson managed to travel around North Korea, whose leaders, if they read this novel, certainly won't be happy.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
lelandleslie | 287 outras críticas | Feb 24, 2024 |
I forced myself to read until page 260 of 443. I hated every minute I spent reading this book. I really, really do not understand the hype.

I found the characters unsympathetic, the story muddled and reading it was not at all enjoyable. I have too many other books in my TBR pile to continue with this.

What am I missing?
 
Assinalado
hmonkeyreads | 287 outras críticas | Jan 25, 2024 |

Listas

Prémios

You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Amber Ghe Author
Gabbi Grey Author
Adina Grey Author
Di Jones Author
Paul Matthews Director and Screenwriter
Tom Duncan Director and Screenwriter
Tripp Norton Director
Kevin Greene Director and Screenwriter
Katie Coyle Contributor
Rachel Zucker Contributor
Anders Carlson-Wee Contributor
Ammi Keller Contributor
Wells Tower Contributor
Paul Salopek Contributor
Paul Crenshaw Contributor
Claudia Rankine Contributor
Emily Carroll Contributor
Paul Tough Contributor
Heidi Julavits Contributor
Joan Wickersham Contributor
Bryan Stevenson Contributor
Sheila Heti Contributor
Shane Bauer Contributor
Christopher Myers Contributor
Rebecca Curtis Contributor
Daniel Alarcón Contributor
Tom McAllister Contributor
Alex Mar Contributor
Victor Lodato Contributor
Corinne Goria Contributor
TJ Jarrett Contributor
Sarah Shourd Contributor
Leanne Shapton Contributor
Box Brown Contributor
Josh Fattal Contributor
Sarah Marshall Contributor
Richard Powers Afterword
Rachel Ake Cover designer
Carles Andreu Traductor
Will Damron Narrator
Greg Chun Narrator
Eric Nyquist Cover artist

Estatísticas

Obras
9
Also by
7
Membros
5,318
Popularidade
#4,681
Avaliação
4.0
Críticas
351
ISBN
83
Línguas
12
Marcado como favorito
4

Tabelas & Gráficos