a nation of lies


In a nation of lies, sometimes only fiction tells the truth. So Adam Johnson‘s new novel, The Orphan Master’s Son, already a New York Times bestseller, may offer new insights about North Korea, the country he says is too often dismissed as a mélange of “buffoonery, madness or evil.” With the launch of a long-range rocket scheduled around April 15, the world is turning its eyes again on North Korea. An outraged world clamors to know what can be done to contain a dangerous pariah state. Johnson’s prediction? “They’re going to send up a big-ass rocket and whatever happens, the North Koreans will call it a startling success.” “It’s not about science,” the Stanford associate professor of English explained. “It’s about the consolidation of power so Kim Jong Un doesn’t get murdered in the night.” Johnson suggests we look to the country’s new leader, the third generation in a totalitarian dynasty, to explain the newest flare-up of celestial ambitions. “In North Korea, everything is a message. Often, it’s a message about survival. Even if it appears malicious, it’s just a message.”

more from Cynthia Haven at The Book Haven here.