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Fortune Smiles - Adam Johnson - <span class="date-display-single">10/22/2015 - 7:30pm</span>

Fortune Smiles

10/22/2015 - 7:30pm

Central Library - Community Room 301 & 302

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his acclaimed novel The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson is one of America’s most provocative and powerful authors. Critics have compared him to Kurt Vonnegut, David Mitchell, and George Saunders, but Johnson’s new book will only further his reputation as one of our most original writers. Subtly surreal and darkly comic, Fortune Smiles is a major collection of stories that gives voice to the perspectives we don’t often hear. In six masterful stories, Johnson delves deep into love and loss, natural disasters, the influence of technology, and how the political shapes the personal. 


Among the collection’s unforgettable characters are a woman with cancer who rages against the idea of her family living on without her. In a return to his signature subject of North Korea, two defectors from Pyongyang trying to adapt to their new lives in Seoul, one of whom cannot forget the woman he left behind. In “George Orwell Was a Friend of Mine,” the former warden of a Stasi prison in East Germany vehemently denies his past, even as pieces of it are delivered in mysterious packages to his door. “Nirvana,” which won the prestigious Sunday Times short story prize, portrays a programmer whose wife has a rare disease finding solace in a digital simulacrum of the president of the United States. “Hurricanes Anonymous,” first included in the Best American Short Stories anthology, depicts a young man searching for the mother of his son in a Louisiana devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As unnerving as they are riveting, these stories confirm Johnson as one of our greatest writers, and as our indispensable guide to a new century.


Adam Johnson

About Presenter Adam Johnson


Adam Johnson is the author of the The Orphan Master’s Son, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the California Book Award, and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was named one of the best books of the year by more than a dozen publications and spent almost a year in total on the New York Times Bestseller list. Johnson’s other awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Stegner Fellowship; he was also a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award. His previous books are Emporium, a short story collection, and the novel Parasites Like Us. Johnson teaches creative writing at Stanford University and lives in San Francisco with his wife and children.


Fortune Smiles

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