An epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery, The Orphan Master’s Son follows a young man’s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea.
Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labour. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.
Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress “so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like.”
Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master’s Son is also a riveting portrait of a world heretofore hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love. A towering literary achievement, The Orphan Master’s Son ushers Adam Johnson into the small group of today’s greatest writers.
I have put together a list of International Book and Writers’ Festivals from around the world with their dates for 2013. Where possible I have included websites and Facebook page links so you can get connected and keep up to date. Some of these festivals have already taken place so in the case of these festivals if there was a 2014 date available I have included it here. Left out a festival? Let me know about it in the comments. Enjoy!
Cairo International Book Fair, Egypt. 23 January – 5 February 2013
TIBE – Taipei International Book Exhibition, Taiwan. 30 January – 4 February 2013
New Delhi Book Fair, India. 15-23 February 2014 https://www.facebook.com/NewDelhiWorldBookFair?fref=ts
Havana International Book Fair, Cuba. 14-24 February 2013
Vilnius Book Fair, Lithuania. 21-24 February 2013
Trujillo International Book Festival, Peru. 1-10 March 2013 http://www.rpp.com.pe/2013-03-01-inauguran-feria-internacional-del-libro-de-trujillo-noticia_571985.html
Brussels Book Fair, Belgium. 7-11 March 2013
Leipzig Book Fair, Germany. 13-16 March 2014 & 12-15 March 2015
Salon du Livre Paris, France. 22-25 March 2013
Alexandrina International Book Fair Alexandria, Egypt. 26 March – 9 April 2013
Bangkok International Book Fair, Thailand. 28 March – 8 April 2013
London Book Fair, UK. 8-10 April 2014 https://www.facebook.com/thelondonbookfairexhibition
Budapest International Book Festival, Hungary. 18-24 April 2013
Prague Writers’ Festival, Czech Republic. 17-19 April 2013
St Petersburg International Book Salon, Russia. 25-28 April 2013
Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair, Malaysia. 26 April – 5 May 2013
PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, New York, USA. 29 April – 5 May 2013 https://www.facebook.com/PENamerican
Geneva International Book, Press, and Multimedia Fair, Switzerland. 1-5 May 2013 https://www.facebook.com/livreGeneve
Tehran International Book Fair, Iran. 1-11 May 2013
NIBF – Nigeria International Book Fair Lagos,Nigeria. 6-11 May 2013
Thessaloniki Book Fair, Greece. 16-19 May 2013
Prague International Book Fair & Literary Festival Book World, Czech Republic. 16-19 May 2013
Turin International Book Fair, Italy. 16-20 May 2013
Warsaw Book Fair, Poland. 16-19 May 2013
Franschoek Literary Festival, South Africa. 17-19 May 2013
Lisbon Book Fair, Portugal. 23 May – 10 June 2013
Emerging Writers’ Festival, Melbourne, Australia. 23 May – 2 June 2013 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Emerging-Writers-Festival/22221031271
Norwegian Festival of Literature, Lillehammer, Norway. 28 May – 2 June 2013
Bucharest Book Fair, Romania. 29 May – 2 June 2013
Seoul International Book Fair, South Korea. 19-23 June 2013
Cape Town Book Fair, South Africa. 21-23 June 2013 & 13-15 June 2014 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cape-Town-Book-Fair/277677959363
São Paulo International Book Biennial, Brazil. 22-31 August 2013
Tokyo International Book Fair, Japan. 3-6 July 2013
Hong Kong Book Fair, Hong Kong. 17-23 July 2013
Berlin International Literature Festival, Germany. 4-15 September 2013
Beijing International Book Fair, China. 28 August – 1 September 2013
Moscow International Book Fair, Russia. 5-10 September 2013
Open Book Festival Cape Town, South Africa. 7-11 September 2013
Reykjavik International Literary Festival , Iceland. 11-15 September 2013
Library of Congress National Book Festival, Washington D.C., USA. 21-22 September 2013
Nairobi International Book Fair, Kenya. 25-29 September 2013
Gothenburg Book Fair, Sweden. 26-29 September 2013
Bangalore Literature Festival, India. 27-29 September 2013 https://www.facebook.com/BlrLitFest
Toronto International Festival of Authors, Canada. 24 October – 3 November 2013 http://www.facebook.com/pages/IFOA-International-Festival-of-Authors/167507489980116
Istanbul Book Fair, Turkey. 17-25 November 2013
Guadalajara International Book Fair, Mexico. 30 November – 8 December 2013
The New York Times Best Sellers List
20 January 2013
- GONE GIRL, by Gillian Flynn. A woman disappears on her fifth anniversary; is her husband a killer?
- EMPIRE AND HONOR, by W. E. B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV. An O.S.S. agent’s plan to help his German intelligence counterparts reach Argentina encounters trouble; Book 7 of the Honour Bound series.
- THE RACKETEER, by John Grisham. An imprisoned ex-lawyer schemes to exchange information about a murdered federal judge for his freedom.
- THE FORGOTTEN, by David Baldacci. The military investigator John Puller, the protagonist of “Zero Day,” probes his aunt’s mysterious death in Florida.
- THREAT VECTOR, by Tom Clancy with Mark Greaney. As China threatens to invade Taiwan, the covert intelligence expert Jack Ryan Jr. aids his father’s administration — but his agency is no longer secret.
- THE TWELVE TRIBES OF HATTIE, by Ayana Mathis. Fifty-some years in the life of an African-American family, starting with Hattie Shepherd, who leaves Georgia for Philadelphia in 1923.
- CROSS ROADS, by Wm. Paul Young. A comatose businessman encounters Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God; from the author of “The Shack.”
- SHADOW WOMAN, by Linda Howard. A woman’s inexplicable strange memories and altered appearance result from a far-reaching conspiracy.
- NOTORIOUS NINETEEN, by Janet Evanovich. The New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum tracks down a con man who disappeared from a hospital.
- THE CASUAL VACANCY, by J. K. Rowling. The sudden death of a parish councilman reveals bitter social divisions in an idyllic English town.
- THE BLACK BOX, by Michael Connelly. The Los Angeles detective Harry Bosch links a recent crime to the killing of a photographer amid the 1992 race riots.
- MERRY CHRISTMAS, ALEX CROSS,by James Patterson. Detective Alex Cross confronts both a hostage situation and a terrorist act at Christmas.
- THE ROUND HOUSE, by Louise Erdrich. A Native American family faces the ramifications of a vicious crime.
- TWO GRAVES, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast pursues a serial killer as well as his abducted wife.
- THE LAST MAN, by Vince Flynn. The counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp searches for a missing C.I.A. asset amid treachery in Afghanistan.
Last week’s list:
The NBCC Awards Ceremony will be held on the 28th of February 2013. Here are the Fiction Finalists for the NBCC Awards:
Laurent Binet, HHhH (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Translated from the French by Sam Taylor. Binet lives in Paris, where he teaches French literature at the University of Paris III. He is the author of a memoir, La Vie professionnelle de Laurent B. HHhH, his first novel, won the Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman. HHhH stands for “Himmler’s Hirn heist Heydrich” (“Himmler’s brain is called Heyrich”). In an unusual blend of fiction, memoir, and history, Binet recounts his obsession with the notorious Nazi Reinhard Heydrich and the two parachuters—a Czech and a Slovak trained by the British—who assassinated him.
Ben Fountain, BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK (Ecco). Fountain lives in Dallas, where he set Billy Lynn, his first novel. He has also published a book of short stories, Brief Encounters with Che Guevera, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award. Fountain quit his job as a lawyer and spent 18 years writing fiction before Brief Encounters was published in 2006, an experience Malcolm Gladwell described in a New Yorker story called “Late Bloomers.” Fountain’s reporting from Haiti has appeared on “This American Life.” In Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, a squad of American soldiers are touted as heroes after a Fox News crew films them during an intense firefight with Iraqi insurgents. The book follows them through one intense, surreal day—which happens to be Thanksgiving and the last day of their U.S. Victory Tour—as they visit Cowboys Stadium in Dallas to take part in the halftime show along with Beyoncé and the Cowboys’ cheerleaders.
Adam Johnson, THE ORPHAN MASTER’S SON (Random House). Johnson lives in San Francisco and teaches creative writing at Stanford University. He has published two previous books: Emporium, a collection of short stories, and Parasites Like Us, a novel. The Orphan Master’s Son follows the enigmatically named North Korean citizen Jun Do from his childhood in a work camp for orphans to the inner circles of power in Pyongyang. While researching the book, Johnson was one of the few Americans to visit North Korea.
Lydia Millet, MAGNIFICENCE (W. W. Norton). Millet lives near Tucson, Arizona, and is the author of nine novels. Magnificence is the third part of a loose trilogy that began with How the Dead Dream and Ghost Lights. With her wry humor and sense of the absurd, Millet introduces Susan, whose husband has just died when she learns that she’s inherited a ramshackle mansion full of taxidermied animals from a great-uncle and decides to restore them.
Zadie Smith, NW (The Penguin Press). Smith was born in northwest London, the setting for her most recent novel, and teaches at New York University. Her previous books include three novels—White Teeth, winner of the Whitbread First Novel award; The Autograph Man; and On Beauty, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize—as well as a collection of essays, Changing My Mind. In Smith’s exuberant prose, NW follows four Londoners who grew up together in public housing as they make their way as adults in widely different circumstances.
The nominees for the 2013 Edgar Awards have been announced! The awards ceremony will be held on the 2nd of May 2013.
The nominees for Best Novel:
The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins
The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
Potboiler by Jesse Kellerman
Sunset by Al Lamanda
Live by Night by Dennis Lehane
All I Did Was Shoot My Man by Walter Mosley
The nominees for Best First Novel:
The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay
Don’t Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman
Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal
The Expats by Chris Pavone
The 500 by Matthew Quirk
Black Fridays by Michael Sears
From the author that brought us the 2009 Man Booker Prize winning Wolf Hall comes the sequel to the Thomas Cromwell featured story, Bringing Up the Bodies. This sequel, Bringing Up the Bodies, has won the 2012 prize making Hilary Mantel the 3rd author to have won the Man Booker Prize twice. She is, however, the first author to have won a second time with a sequel and the first to win with such little time between wins.
What’s Bringing Up the Bodies about? Goodreads provides us with the low down.
Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice.
At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne’s head?
This second installation of the Wolf Hall series by Hilary Mantel is sure to please historical fiction fans and has been described by readers as even better than the first novel with many Goodreads members awarding Bringing Up the Bodies 5 star reviews.