Unveiling North Korea With Fact and Fiction

Adam Johnson and Blaine Harden
A Conversation
Monday, March 23, 2015
Episode Summary

Coming together for the first time on stage, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Adam Johnson and bestselling nonfiction author Blaine Harden explore how their different paths of storytelling led them to similar truths about illusive North Korea. Join Johnson, author of the spellbinding novel The Orphan Master’s Son, and Harden, author of the new historical exposé The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot: The True Story of the Tyrant Who Created North Korea and the Young Lieutenant Who Stole His Way to Freedom, for a fascinating discussion about the world’s longest-lasting totalitarian regime.

Participant(s) Bio

Adam Johnson teaches creative writing at Stanford University, where he founded the Stanford Graphic Novel Project. He is the author of the novel The Orphan Master’s Son, set in North Korea, which was awarded the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. His work has appeared in Esquire, The Paris Review, Harper’s, Tin House, Granta, and Playboy, as well as The Best American Short Stories. His other works include Emporium, a short-story collection, and the novel Parasites Like Us. He lives in San Francisco.

Blaine Harden is the author of Africa: Dispatches from a Fragile Continent A River Lost: The Life and Death of the Columbia and Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West. Africa won a PEN American Center citation for the first book of nonfiction. Escape from Camp 14 was both a New York Times and an international bestseller published in twenty-seven languages. Harden formerly served as The Washington Post’s bureau chief in East Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa. He lives in Seattle.