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Fiction featuring Care Experience

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The Orphan Master's Son

Adam Johnson


The protagonist in The Orphan Master's Son is an orphan who grows up to become a model citizen and who struggles with life in North Korea. Themes of propaganda, state power, identity and the low status of orphans are entwined through out. The novel was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2013. Shortly after Jun Do’s birth in a North Korean orphanage, his mother is carted off to Pyongyang, never to be seen again. His father (the eponymous orphan master) is unable or unwilling to show favoritism, so Jun Do is punished, starved and over-worked along with the other orphans. This is a dark, satirical novel about what happens when love is forbidden and a totalitarian regime attempts to take the place of family.

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