Prize-winning American fiction - The Orphan Master's Son follows a young man's epic journey through the world's most secretative state, North Korea - for fans of David Mitchell
Citizens of our beloved Democratic Republic of North Korea! Imagine the life of an orphan boy from nowhere who is plucked from his orphanage by the military, to be trained as a tunnel assassin, a kidnapper, a spy.
He has no father but the State, no sweetheart but Sun Moon, the greatest opera star who ever lived, whose face is tattooed on his chest.
Imagine he lives in our very own country, a model of exemplary Communism. A nation that is the envy of the world, especially the Americans. Where the only human stories people need to hear are those blasting out of loudspeakers to the glory of our dear Leader, Kim Jong il.
Citizens! Who is this individual? What is his story? Who will remember him?
Pak Jun Do is his name: wrestler of sharks, envoy to Texan barbecues, imposter extraordinaire, whose murderous biography has only come to light through the talents and stamina of our most patriotic interrogators. Dry your eyes now, comrades! This is the double-life story of a hero and martyr: the Greatest North Korean Love Story Ever Told.
The Orphan Master's Son is an iconoclastic work of fiction, part thriller, part coming-of-age story, part love story. Dark, playful and genre-defying, its searing depiction of one man's epic journey through the surrealist brutality of North Korea shines a fierce light on the essence of the human condition. Warning: Any resemblance to real people and events may not be entirely coincidental
About the Author
Adam Johnson teaches creative writing at Stanford University. A Whiting Writers' Award winner, he is the author of Emporium, a short story collection, and the novel Parasites Like Us, which won a California Book Award. His fiction has appeared in Esquire, Harper's, Paris Review, Playboy, Tin House and Best American Short Stories. His new novel The Orphan Master's Son has been excerpted by Granta.