On November 12 we will discuss Ron Powers’ selection
Adam Johnson, The Orphan Master’s Son, 2012
Here is some preliminary information about the book provided by Ron Powers.
In our recent book club readings, we’ve “traveled” by novel to Japan in Kokoro, India in The White Tiger, and Afghanistan in “A Thousand Splendid Sun.” For November, I would like us to visit North Korea via the Pulitzer Prize winning novel written by Adam Johnson, The Orphan Master’s Son.
This novel was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and it has been hailed by other critics and journals across America. Zadie Smith in The Los Angeles Times says the novel is “an epic feat of storytelling”; the Wall Street Journal calls it “The single best work of fiction published in 2012”; and Ruth Franklin in The New Republic states in her review “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.”
I suggest that you read no further reviews of the novel but that you just jump in and experience this extraordinary novel with your own sensibilities uninfluenced by outside sources.
But it you’d like a sense of where you’re headed, I’ll offer one last comment from The Washington Post review of the novel: “Imagine Charles Dickens paying a visit to Pyongyang….”