Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his acclaimed novel about North Korea, 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, Fortune Smiles 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 six masterly stories, Johnson delves deep into love and loss, natural disasters, the influence of technology, and how the political shapes the personal. “Nirvana,” which won the prestigious Sunday Times short story prize, portrays a programmer whose wife has a rare disease finding solace in a digital simulacrum of the president of the United States. In “Hurricanes Anonymous”—first included in the Best American Short Stories anthology—a young man searches for the mother of his son in a Louisiana devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. “George Orwell Was a Friend of Mine” follows a former warden of a Stasi prison in East Germany who vehemently denies his past, even as pieces of it are delivered in packages to his door. And in the unforgettable title story, Johnson returns to his signature subject, North Korea, depicting two defectors from Pyongyang who are trying to adapt to their new lives in Seoul, while one cannot forget the woman he left behind.

Unnerving, riveting, and written with a timeless quality, these stories confirm Johnson as one of America’s greatest writers and an indispensable guide to our new century.

Readers:
“Nirvana” read by Johnathan McClain 
“Hurricanes Anonymous” read by Dominic Hoffman 
“Interesting Facts” read by Cassandra Campbell 
“George Orwell Was a Friend of Mine” read by W. Morgan Sheppard 
“Dark Meadow” read by Will Damron 
“Fortune Smiles” read by Greg Chun 

Advance praise for Fortune Smiles

“How do you follow a Pulitzer Prize–winning novel? For Johnson, the answer is a story collection, and the tales are hefty and memorable. . . . In the title story, two North Korean criminals adjust to post-defection life in South Korea. . . . Often funny, even when they’re wrenchingly sad, the stories provide one of the truest satisfactions of reading: the opportunity to sink into worlds we otherwise would know little or nothing about.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A half-dozen sometimes Carver-esque yarns that find more-or-less ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges and somehow holding up. Tragedy is always close to the surface in Johnson’s work—with tragicomic layerings. . . . Bittersweet, elegant, full of hard-won wisdom: this is no ordinary book, either.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 

Praise for Adam Johnson’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, The Orphan Master’s Son

“Harrowing and deeply affecting . . . 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 . . . the single best work of fiction published [this year].”—The Wall Street Journal

“Masterful . . . Each [story] is a miniature demonstration of why his remarkable novel The Orphan Master’s Son won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.”The Washington Post
 
“[Adam Johnson] is always perceptive and brave; his lines always sing and strut and sizzle and hush and wash and blaze over the reader.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“Superb . . . explosive.”The Wall Street Journal
 
“Remarkable . . . the best short story collection since Tenth of December . . . Johnson is one of America’s greatest living writers.”The Huffington Post
 
“Haunting, harrowing . . . Johnson’s writing is as rich in compassion as it is in invention, and that rare combination makes Fortune Smiles worth treasuring.”USA Today
 
Fortune Smiles [blends] exotic scenarios, morally compromised characters, high-wire action, rigorously limber prose, dense thickets of emotion, and, most critically, our current techno-moment.”The Boston Globe
 
“Johnson’s boundary-pushing stories make for exhilarating reading.”San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Entrancing.”O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“One of the most original and compelling voices in contemporary American fiction.”Entertainment Weekly
 
“Johnson packs more voice in his stories than most authors do in a novel.”Esquire

“Stunning . . . Johnson is a writer of uncanny insight and compassion and Fortune Smiles is a wise, poignant and important book. It should not be missed.”Toronto Star

“The best stories stretch well beyond their first and last words. They’re more than the opening scene; they invite the reader to imagine what came before and what will come after. They’re alive and they’re limitless. That’s exactly what the best stories in Fortune Smiles are like.”—NPR
 
“[A] bold and deeply wise collection.”BuzzFeed
 
“Even as Johnson’s subject matter bends genre is a way that is assertively contemporary, much of his prose is classically beautiful. . . . The speculative fiction of Margaret Atwood and David Mitchell, which also trade in inherited traumas and personal resilience, come to mind, as do George Saunders’ darkly satiric visions of near-future America.”The New Republic
 
“Transfixing . . . The collection amply confirms Johnson’s daring and talent.”The Oregonian
 
“Excellent.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Johnson has a rare combination of inventiveness, intellectual pyrotechnics and emotional sophistication. . . . These stories are treasures.”—BBC
 
“Adam Johnson returns with this riveting collection of short stories, each reflecting the darkly imagined, slightly surreal point of view that animated his Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, The Orphan Master’s Son. . . . He’s a compelling writer, in any form.”San Jose Mercury-News

“Startlingly, blazingly original.”BookPage

“[Adam Johnson] serves up six sinewy stories that shock and surprise in his edgy, inviting Fortune Smiles. . . . [They’re] compulsively readable tales about characters whose lives are largely ignored, undervalued, or simply uncharted and whose voices we seldom hear.”Elle

“The stories in Fortune Smiles fizz with imagination, miniature worlds exploding onto the page. Adam Johnson’s prose is so pared-down, like the setting for precious stones, he gives us just what’s necessary to let the facets sparkle, without distraction. I loved this book!”—M. L. Stedman, New York Times bestselling author of The Light Between Oceans

“How do you follow a Pulitzer Prize–winning novel? For [Adam] Johnson, the answer is a story collection, and the tales are hefty and memorable. . . . In the title story, two North Korean criminals adjust to post-defection life in South Korea. . . . Often funny, even when they’re wrenchingly sad, the stories provide one of the truest satisfactions of reading: the opportunity to sink into worlds we otherwise would know little or nothing about.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A half-dozen sometimes Carver-esque yarns that find more-or-less ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges and somehow holding up. Tragedy is always close to the surface in Johnson’s work—with tragicomic layerings. . . . Bittersweet, elegant, full of hard-won wisdom: this is no ordinary book, either.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)