Pulitzer's Play For The Nobel Peace Prize

on Tuesday, April 16, 2013
In what I can only guess is a valiant attempt to avert nuclear war on the Korean peninsula, the Pulitzer Prize in fiction has gone to Adam Johnson for The Orphan Master's Son, an epic novel about life under Kim Jong Il's rule. Given they didn't see fit to even give the gong in 2012, it is only fitting that this year it should come with such noble intentions. I mean, after slapping David Foster Wallace in his cold, hard face and teasing Denis Johnson about the size of his... um... novella, you better do the literary equivalent of resurrecting Mother Teresa if you don't want to be chased down the street with pitchforks and torches.

The shortlist of three was rounded out by Eowyn Ivey for The Snow Child and Nathan Englander for What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, meaning it is the second time in as many days that the great Holocaust diarist was sullied by popular culture (that is, of course, if you could call Justin Bieber culture).

The big question now is whether Kim Jong-Un will take the bait. Daddy isn't exactly painted in soft pastel in The Orphan Master's Son, but North Korean censorship laws prohibit any criticism of the Great LeaderTM so chances are the version he sees will be greatly abridged and nothing like the original. Now we just have to hope that Dennis Bloody Rodman doesn't swan in to the country again to read the unedited version to Un at bedtime. Come to think of it, can Dennis Rodman even read? Crisis averted!


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