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
Jan 23, 2015
A Cuban flag and an American flag stand in the press room during the second day of talks between U.S. and Cuban officials, in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. (AP)

President Obama comes out swinging in his State of the Union. High level talks in Cuba. Japanese hostages. “American Sniper” controversy. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Jan 23, 2015
People enter the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colo., Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. The jury selection process in the trial of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes began Tuesday, and is expected to take several weeks to a few months. Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding more than 50 in an Aurora movie theater in 2012 (AP)

The Marathon bombing, the Aurora movie theater shootings, and the challenges of picking an impartial jury.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jan 23, 2015
People enter the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colo., Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. The jury selection process in the trial of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes began Tuesday, and is expected to take several weeks to a few months. Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding more than 50 in an Aurora movie theater in 2012 (AP)

The Marathon bombing, the Aurora movie theater shootings, and the challenges of picking an impartial jury.

 
Jan 23, 2015
A Cuban flag and an American flag stand in the press room during the second day of talks between U.S. and Cuban officials, in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. (AP)

President Obama comes out swinging in his State of the Union. High level talks in Cuba. Japanese hostages. “American Sniper” controversy. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: January 23, 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

New thoughts on Facebook, new analysis of State of the Union twitter activity and new weekend excitement. New! And exciting!

More »
Comment
 
Meet On Point’s Interns: Spring 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

Good news! We have interns, and they are wonderful, and here they are for the spring term. Meet them digitally, right here.

More »
2 Comments
 
Caller To Author Ron Rash: ‘You Cared About People Like Me’
Thursday, Jan 22, 2015

An unexpected caller from South Carolina brings back guest Ron Rash’s years as a community college professor in a movingly real way.

More »
Comment