Adam Johnson was born in South Dakota and raised in Arizona. He earned a BA in Journalism from Arizona State University in 1992; a MFA from the writing program at McNeese State University, and a PhD in English from Florida State University in 2000.
Johnson teaches creative writing at Stanford University. His fiction has appeared in Esquire, The Paris Review, Harper's, Tin House, Granta, and Playboy, as well as The Best American Short Stories. His works include include Emporium, a short-story collection, and the novels Parasites Like Us and The Orphan Master's Son.
Johnson has received a Whiting Writers' Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Swarthout Writing Award, a Kingsbury Fellowship and a Stegner Fellowship. He was named Debut Writer of the Year in 2002 by Amazon.com, and in 2003 he was selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers series. He was nominated for a Young Lions Award from the New York Public Library and received scholarships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers' conferences. In 2010, he won the Gina Berriault Literary Award.
He lives in San Francisco.
Adam Johnson's website
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In the video Q&A below, Adam Johnson, author of The Orphan Master's Son explains his fascination with propaganda and its relationship to narrative voice.
A Conversation Between Adam Johnson and Vincent Scarpa about Fortune Smiles and Other Topics
Vincent Scarpa is a Michener Fellow at the University of Texas and managing editor of The Austin Review.
Vincent Scarpa: How long have these stories been in your arsenal? Were they all completed after The Orphan Master's Son, or were some in the works before that?
Adam Johnson: That's a good question. One story, "Hurricanes Anonymous," I wrote earlier. In the middle of Orphan Master's Son, I knew that I needed to use a certain kind of third person with a certain kind of distance that I'd never really deployed before, and so I stopped writing that book and I figured, Let me test it out. So I wrote that story, "Hurricanes Anonymous," that was really ratcheted down and limited in a certain way, as a kind of test run to see if I could do that over a bigger novel. So that story came earlier, but the other five came after I finished the novel. I had just missed stories. I love everything about stories and I'd been just ...
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