90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Inside North Korea With The Orphan Masters Son

Inside North Korea.  We talk with the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of “The Orphan Master’s Son.”

North Koreans walk bicycles along a street in Kaesong, North Korea, north of the demilitarized zone which separates the two Koreas, Tuesday, April 23, 2013. (AP)

North Koreans walk bicycles along a street in Kaesong, North Korea, north of the demilitarized zone which separates the two Koreas, Tuesday, April 23, 2013. (AP)

In the same month that North Korea has unleashed its giant barrage of fury and nuclear threat, the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction has gone to a novel deeply set in North Korea.

The Pulitzer committee commended Adam Johnson’s “The Orphan Master’s Son” as “an exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader… into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart.”

North Korea’s still blustering.  And we’re still curious.

This hour, On Point:  Imagining North Korea, with newly-minted Pulitzer Prize winner, Adam Johnson and “the Orphan Master’s Son.”

- Tom Ashbrook

Guest

Adam Johnson, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in fiction for his book “The Orphan Master’s Son.” Professor at Stanford University.

Kim Kwang-Jin, defected from North Korea in 2003 with his wife and son.

From Tom’s Reading List

Associated Press: Fiction Pulitzer Returns and Adam Johnson wins it – “Adam Johnson’s “The Orphan Master’s Son,” a labyrinthine story of a man’s travails in North Korea, has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, restoring a high literary honor a year after no fiction award was given.”

Stanford Daily: Q&A With Pulitzer Prize Winner Adam Johnson — “It was a really challenging book to write, though very rewarding. I had to go far outside my own experience [in] writing about another culture in a very different kind of society that sees the world much differently from me. So I had to leave my comfort zone. But it was very, very rewarding to try to capture lives of other people that are so much different than my own. That sounds like a pretty lame answer. It was really hard to write.”

The Washington Post: The Orphan Master’s Son an Audacious, Believable Tale — “A great novel can take implausible fact and turn it into entirely believable fiction. That’s the genius of ‘The Orphan Master’s Son.’ Adam Johnson has taken the papier-mache creation that is North Korea and turned it into a real and riveting place that readers will find unforgettable.”

Excerpt: ‘The Orphan Master’s Son,’ by Adam Johnson

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 22, 2014
President Barack Obama gestures during a statement in the State Dining Room of the White House, on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, in Washington. Obama spoke after Congress voted to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in the fight against the Islamic State group. (AP/Evan Vucci)

A tough, critical examination of US plans to take on ISIS. Strategy in the hot seat.

Sep 22, 2014
Demonstrators make their way down Sixth Avenue in New York during the People's Climate March Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. (AP/Jason DeCrow)

Big climate protests in New York before a big UN summit. Activist and author Naomi Klein says change the economy or die. She’s with us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 19, 2014
Joseph O'Neill (courtesy of the author)

Author of “Netherland,” novelist Joseph O’Neill is back, with “The Dog,” on globalization, capitalism, and self-discovery in Dubai.

 
Sep 19, 2014
No campaigners celebrate as results come in at the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh,Scotland,Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Scottish voters have rejected independence and decided that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. The result announced early Friday was the one favored by Britain's political leaders, who had campaigned hard in recent weeks to convince Scottish voters to stay. It dashed many Scots' hopes of breaking free and building their own nation. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)

ISIS and arming Syrian fighters. Scotland rejects independence. NFL turmoil. US troops and Ebola. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 19, 2014
Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Lots of big, contentious topics on the show this week — from Zionism to early education, corporal punishment to development in the Grand Canyon.

More »
Comment
 
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Comment