The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
- Publish Date: 2012-08-07
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Adam Johnson
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION
An epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery,Â The Orphan Masterâs SonÂ follows a young manâs journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the worldâs most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea.
NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST â¢ DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE WINNER â¢ LONGLISTED FOR THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATIONâS ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL â¢ WINNER OF THE CALIFORNIA BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION â¢Â NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New Yorker â¢ The Washington Post â¢ Stephen King,Â Entertainment Weekly â¢ The Wall Street Journal â¢ Los Angeles Times â¢ San Francisco Chronicle â¢ Financial Times â¢ Newsweek/The Daily Beast â¢ The Plain Dealer â¢ St. Louis Post-Dispatch â¢ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel â¢ Scott Turow, The Millions â¢Â Slate â¢ Salon â¢ BookPage â¢ Shelf Awareness
âThe single best work of fiction published [this year] . . . The bookâs cunning, flair and pathos are testaments to the still-formidable power of the written word.ââThe Wall Street Journal
Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost motherâa singer âstolenâ to Pyongyangâand 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 âa humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,â 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 âso pure, she didnât know what starving people looked like.â
Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Masterâs 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 Masterâs Son ushers Adam Johnson into the small group of todayâs greatest writers.
Praise for The Orphan Masterâs Son
âAn 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.ââPulitzer Prize citation
âMr. 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.ââMichiko Kakutani, The New York Times
âRich with a sense of discovery . . .Â The Orphan Masterâs Son has an early lead on novel of [the year].ââThe Daily Beast
âThis is a novel worth getting excited about.ââThe Washington Post
â[A] ripping piece of fiction that is also an astute commentary on the nature of freedom, sacrifice, and glory.ââElle
From the Hardcover edition.