Fortune Smiles

Fortune Smiles

Stories

eBook - 2015
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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his acclaimed novel The Orphan Master's Son, Adam Johnson is one of America's most provocative and powerful authors. Critics have compared him to Kurt Vonnegut, David Mitchell, and George Saunders, but Johnson's new book will only further his reputation as one of our most original writers. Subtly surreal, darkly comic, both hilarious and heartbreaking, Interesting Facts is a major collection of stories that gives voice to the perspectives we don't often hear, while offering something rare in fiction: a new way of looking at the world.In "George Orwell Was a Friend of Mine," the former warden of a Stasi prison in East Germany vehemently denies his past, even as pieces of it are delivered in mysterious packages to his door. "Nirvana," which won the prestigious Sunday Times short story prize, portrays a world where a programmer whose wife has a rare disease finds solace in a digital simulacrum of the recently assassinated president. "Hurricanes Anonymous," anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, depicts a devastated Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Among the collection's unforgettable characters are a young man and his new girlfriend searching for the mother of his son, a computer whiz who helps the police catch criminals while trying to evade detection himself, and, in the stunning title story, a woman with cancer who rages against the idea of her family living on without her.In fantastic and unflinching prose, Adam Johnson delves deep into love and loss, natural disasters and mysterious desires, the decisions we make for ourselves and the decisions we make for others. As unnerving as they are riveting, these stories establish him as a modern master, an indispensable guide to a new century in which the unbelievable has become commonplace.Praise for Adam Johnson's Pulitzer Prize--winning novel, The Orphan Master's Son"Harrowing and deeply affecting . . . In making his hero, and the nightmare he lives through, come so thoroughly alive, Mr. Johnson has written a daring and remarkable novel, a novel that not only opens a frightening window on the mysterious kingdom of North Korea, but one that also excavates the very meaning of love and sacrifice."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times"Remarkable . . . a work of high adventure, surreal coincidences and terrible violence, seeming to straddle the line between cinematic fantasy and brutal actuality . . . the single best work of fiction published [this year]."--The Wall Street Journal"A great novel can take implausible fact and turn it into entirely believable fiction. That's the genius of The Orphan Master's Son. Adam Johnson has taken the papier-mâché creation that is North Korea and turned it into a real and riveting place that readers will find unforgettable. . . . Imagine Charles Dickens paying a visit to Pyongyang, and you see the canvas on which Johnson is painting here."--The Washington Post"Adam Johnson has pulled off literary alchemy, first by setting his novel in North Korea, a country that few of us can imagine, then by producing such compelling characters, whose lives unfold at breakneck speed. I was engrossed right to the amazing conclusion. The result is pure gold, a terrific novel."--Abraham Verghese"An epic feat of storytelling."--Zadie Smith"A triumph of imagination . . . [Grade:] A."--Entertainment WeeklyFrom the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: [New York, New York] :, Random House,, [2015]
ISBN: 9780812997484
0812997484
Characteristics: 1 online resource.
Summary: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his acclaimed novel The Orphan Master's Son, Adam Johnson is one of America's most provocative and powerful authors. Critics have compared him to Kurt Vonnegut, David Mitchell, and George Saunders, but Johnson's new book will only further his reputation as one of our most original writers. Subtly surreal, darkly comic, both hilarious and heartbreaking, Interesting Facts is a major collection of stories that gives voice to the perspectives we don't often hear, while offering something rare in fiction: a new way of looking at the world.In "George Orwell Was a Friend of Mine," the former warden of a Stasi prison in East Germany vehemently denies his past, even as pieces of it are delivered in mysterious packages to his door. "Nirvana," which won the prestigious Sunday Times short story prize, portrays a world where a programmer whose wife has a rare disease finds solace in a digital simulacrum of the recently assassinated president. "Hurricanes Anonymous," anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, depicts a devastated Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Among the collection's unforgettable characters are a young man and his new girlfriend searching for the mother of his son, a computer whiz who helps the police catch criminals while trying to evade detection himself, and, in the stunning title story, a woman with cancer who rages against the idea of her family living on without her.In fantastic and unflinching prose, Adam Johnson delves deep into love and loss, natural disasters and mysterious desires, the decisions we make for ourselves and the decisions we make for others. As unnerving as they are riveting, these stories establish him as a modern master, an indispensable guide to a new century in which the unbelievable has become commonplace.Praise for Adam Johnson's Pulitzer Prize--winning novel, The Orphan Master's Son"Harrowing and deeply affecting . . . In making his hero, and the nightmare he lives through, come so thoroughly alive, Mr. Johnson has written a daring and remarkable novel, a novel that not only opens a frightening window on the mysterious kingdom of North Korea, but one that also excavates the very meaning of love and sacrifice."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times"Remarkable . . . a work of high adventure, surreal coincidences and terrible violence, seeming to straddle the line between cinematic fantasy and brutal actuality . . . the single best work of fiction published [this year]."--The Wall Street Journal"A great novel can take implausible fact and turn it into entirely believable fiction. That's the genius of The Orphan Master's Son. Adam Johnson has taken the papier-mâché creation that is North Korea and turned it into a real and riveting place that readers will find unforgettable. . . . Imagine Charles Dickens paying a visit to Pyongyang, and you see the canvas on which Johnson is painting here."--The Washington Post"Adam Johnson has pulled off literary alchemy, first by setting his novel in North Korea, a country that few of us can imagine, then by producing such compelling characters, whose lives unfold at breakneck speed. I was engrossed right to the amazing conclusion. The result is pure gold, a terrific novel."--Abraham Verghese"An epic feat of storytelling."--Zadie Smith"A triumph of imagination . . . [Grade:] A."--Entertainment WeeklyFrom the Hardcover edition.

Opinion

From Library Staff

Johnson's stories center on ordinary people in extraordinary and just plain weird circumstances. Readers of George Saunders may enjoy this collection.


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AL_LESLEY Nov 10, 2016

A set of 6 National Book Award winning stories, Fortune Smiles, was more than I expected as I'm not much of a short story reader. Each story was well told, uncomfortable, yet impacting in it's own way.

sungeun2k1 Aug 20, 2016

Darkly unsettling. Surreally funny, although at times I wasn't sure I was supposed to be laughing. Dark Meadows in particular left me uneasy and unnerved. Every strange situation in 6 short stories seemed a metaphor for the absurdity of North Korea in the final story, or maybe it's the other way around.

f
foxylady31
Apr 03, 2016

Not a particularly interesting book. Was not impressed but read it all anyway

m
mogie
Mar 19, 2016

It was a normal book and none of the stories were particularly interesting to me. It was easy to read and get through but is not memorable for me.

ChiPubLib_Adults Nov 19, 2015

2015 National Book Award Winner in Fiction.

m
merryanne87
Aug 04, 2015

The book is titled "Fortune Smiles" not "Interesting Facts: Stories"

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