WorldViews: ‘The cruelest psychological experiment ever cooked up’: Author Adam Johnson on North Korea

By Chico Harlan, March 7, 2014

Several books released in the past few years — notably Blaine Harden’s “Escape from Camp 14” and Barbara Demick’s “Nothing to Envy” — give a vivid, if partial, picture of repression and trauma in North Korea. But Adam Johnson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Orphan Master’s Son" is different: It’s fiction, and it turns an elusive society into a three-dimensional world that facts alone can’t inform. (Also, Kim Jong Il appears in the book — as a fully formed, utterly non-cartoonish character.)

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