If you are reading this in a dining hall, look up: do you think you could assemble a list of 5 living writers that the majority of the dining hall would recognize? The list would likely falter after J.K. Rowling and Stephen King. Change the topic to professional athletes, actors, DJs or rappers and you would finish your meal before the list was exhausted. More interesting, make the topic five dead writers and nobody would struggle either.
The Daily sat down with several prominent professors and administrators to discuss their summer reading lists and their near-unanimous interest in one Stanford-affiliated work in particular.
Adam Johnson, Associate Professor of English, recently won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in fiction for his novel “The Orphan Master’s Son.” The work focuses on a fictional character who initially works for and then falls victim to the North Korean state, and it was described as “an exquisitely crafted novel” by the Pulitzer committee. The Daily sat down with Johnson to discuss his work at Stanford, his novel and the experience of winning a Pulitzer Prize.
Adam Johnson, associate professor of english, has won this year’s Pulitzer Prize in fiction for his novel “The Orphan Master’s Son,” a story set in North Korea under Kim Jong-Il. The Pulitzer Prizes, which were announced Monday morning, are awarded annually to the best in American arts and journalism.
Adam Johnson, associate professor of English, received a National Book Critics Circle Award nomination Monday for his second novel, “The Orphan Master’s Son.”
Named “one of the nation’s most influential and imaginative college professors” by Playboy, Johnson is an associate professor of English with an emphasis in creative writing. He is also a Whiting Writers’ Award recipient. His fiction has appeared in publications including Harper’s, The Paris Review and “Best American Short Stories” and Random House published his most recent novel, “The Orphan Master’s Son,” in January of this year.
Johnson was born in South Dakota and raised in Arizona. From an early age, he cultivated a probing sensibility to understanding the world around him. In his early childhood, Johnson’s favorite place was the Phoenix Zoo. His father, a zoo night watchman, would take his son out on evening excursions to see the animals. It was from these excursions that Johnson developed a growing awareness of the depth and multi-layered nature of stories.
We feel this is a debate worth having – we ourselves discussed it for a long stretch of time – and we encourage the discussion surrounding our editorial to focus on that normative question.
Often, writing is perceived as a solitary endeavor, but Kealey encourages his students to work collaboratively, and his classes reflect this approach.