Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Adam Johnson has made just one trip to North Korea, but the American academic's novel The Orphan Master's Son has won him the Pulitzer prize for fiction for carrying his readers "on an adventuresome journey into the depths" of the totalitarian country, according to the judges.
The story of a young man, Jun Do – a homonym for John Doe – and his passage through the prison camps and dictatorship of North Korea, Johnson's novel beat Nathan Englander's acclaimed What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank and Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child to win the $10,000 (£6,500) Pulitzer for fiction on Monday. The award is America's most prestigious for fiction, and has been won by some of the country's greatest novelists, from William Faulkner to Toni Morrison.
Last year, Pulitzer judges declined to award a fiction prize, with finalists Karen Russell, David Foster Wallace and Denis Johnson all missing out on a place in literary history. But this year Johnson, who teaches creative writing at Stanford University, was said by judges including the Pulitzer-winning novelist Geraldine Brooks to have written "an exquisitely crafted novel" which journeys "into the most intimate spaces of the human heart", and was named winner of the prize.
Having written the book following years of research into North Korea, including one tightly-controlled state-sponsored trip to the country,Johnson told the Stanford News that he had come "to care very deeply about the people of North Korea", and that he hoped his novel – and his win – would shed light on the country's situation.
"People thought I was crazy to be writing on North Korea. They said, 'You're just some dude in California!' But one of the things I discovered through my research is that most North Koreans can't tell their story. It's important for others to hear it, though. So I had a sense of mission to speak about the topic," Johnson said.  "It's an unverifiable place," the author said of North Korea. "But to the fiction writer, the myth, the legend, the fables are all powerful tools to create a psychological 

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