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Adam Johnson (1) (1967–)

Teoksen Orpokodin poika tekijä

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9+ teosta 5,354 jäsentä 351 arvostelua 4 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

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 näytä lisää 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) näytä vähemmän
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

Tekijän teokset

Orpokodin poika (2012) 3,992 kappaletta, 288 arvostelua
Fortune Smiles: Stories (2015) 716 kappaletta, 44 arvostelua
Parasites Like Us (2003) 362 kappaletta, 12 arvostelua
Emporium: Stories (2002) 168 kappaletta, 2 arvostelua
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2015 (2015) — Toimittaja — 106 kappaletta, 5 arvostelua
Shake girl : a graphic novel inspired by a true story (2009) — Avustaja — 7 kappaletta
pika-don () (2010) 1 kappale

Associated Works

The Best American Short Stories 2009 (2009) — Avustaja — 363 kappaletta, 11 arvostelua
Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times (2005) — Avustaja — 254 kappaletta, 3 arvostelua
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016 (2016) — Avustaja — 172 kappaletta, 6 arvostelua
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2014 (2014) — Avustaja — 145 kappaletta, 7 arvostelua
Granta 127: Japan (2014) — Avustaja — 125 kappaletta, 2 arvostelua
Best New American Voices 2000 (2000) — Avustaja — 47 kappaletta
Stumbling and Raging (2005) — Avustaja — 22 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla




The Orphan Master's Son, 75 Books Challenge for 2020 (elokuu 2020)


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
… (lisätietoja)
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hcnewton | 43 muuta kirja-arvostelua | 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.
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vickiv | 287 muuta kirja-arvostelua | 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.
… (lisätietoja)
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lelandleslie | 287 muuta kirja-arvostelua | 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?
Merkitty asiattomaksi
hmonkeyreads | 287 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 25, 2024 |



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