The Orphan Master's Son: Barack Obama’s Summer Reading Pick 2019

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Transworld, Feb 16, 2012 - Fiction - 592 pages

- 'You know you are in the hands of someone who can tell a story. Fantastic' ZADIE SMITH
The award-winning and New York Times bestselling novel: a dark and witty story of the rise of a young orphan in the surreal and tyrannical regime of North Korea .

Young Pak Jun Do is convinced he is special. He knows he must be the unique son of the master of the orphanage, and definitely not some kid dumped by his parents. Surely it was obvious from the way his father singled him out for regular beating?

He finds his calling when he is picked as a spy and kidnapper for his nation, the glorious Democratic Republic of North Korea.

He knows he must find his true love, Sun Moon, the greatest opera star who ever lived, before it's too late.

He knows he's not like the other prisoners in the camp.

He's going to get out soon.

Isn't he?

This hilarious, dark literary epic of a young boy's rise in North Korea from orphan to high-ranking officer won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was shortlisted for the National Book Award.

'An addictive novel of daring ingenuity' DAVID MITCHELL
'Excavates the very meaning of life' NEW YORK TIMES

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What to understand about North Korea

User Review  - jamienga -

I didnt want to read a book set in North Korea but Im glad that I did. It won a Pulitzer Prize and now I understand why. The narrative style confused me at first until I realized that it was part of ... Read full review

Review: The Orphan Master's Son

User Review  - Anne - Goodreads

Definitely one of the best books I've read this year. It was chosen for my book club and I admit I was not enthused to read it. I assumed some long, depressing tale of work camps, starvation and ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Adam Johnson teaches creative writing at Stanford University. His second novel THE ORPHAN MASTER'S SON won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2013 and was a New York Times bestseller. His short story NIRVANA won the EFG/Sunday Times Best Short Story Award 2014. He lives in San Francisco with his family.