The Orphan Master's Son

The Orphan Master's Son

Barack Obama’s Summer Reading Pick 2019



- 'You know you are in the hands of someone who can tell a story. Fantastic' ZADIE SMITH
The award-winning and New York Times bestselling novel: a dark and witty story of the rise of a young orphan in the surreal and tyrannical regime of North Korea .

Young Pak Jun Do is convinced he is special. He knows he must be the unique son of the master of the orphanage, and definitely not some kid dumped by his parents. Surely it was obvious from the way his father singled him out for regular beating?

He finds his calling when he is picked as a spy and kidnapper for his nation, the glorious Democratic Republic of North Korea.

He knows he must find his true love, Sun Moon, the greatest opera star who ever lived, before it’s too late.

He knows he’s not like the other prisoners in the camp.

He’s going to get out soon.

Isn't he?

This hilarious, dark literary epic of a young boy's rise in North Korea from orphan to high-ranking officer won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was shortlisted for the National Book Award.
Adam Johnson is working on a new work of fiction.

'An addictive novel of daring ingenuity' DAVID MITCHELL
'Excavates the very meaning of life' NEW YORK TIMES


  • An addictive novel of daring ingenuity; a study of sacrifice and freedom in a citizen-eating dynasty; and a timely reminder that anonymous victims of oppression are also human beings who love. A brave and impressive book
    David Mitchell, author of THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET

About the author

Adam Johnson

ADAM JOHNSON won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2013 for his second novel, the New York Times bestseller The Orphan Master’s Son (‘Excavates the very meaning of life’ New York Times). His short story 'Nirvana' won the prestigious Sunday Times/EFG Short Story Award. He is the author of acclaimed story collections, Fortune Smiles and Emporium and the novel Parasites Like Us. He teaches creative writing at Stanford University and lives with his family in San Francisco.
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