Two years ago, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his acclaimed novel set in North Korea, The Orphan Master’s Son. Now, with his new collection of short stories, Fortune Smiles, Adam Johnson solidifies his reputation as one of this country’s most provocative, powerful, and original writers. Subtle, surreal, darkly comic, both hilarious and heartbreaking, the six stories in Fortune Smiles showcase Johnson’s range with unique examinations of love and loss, natural disasters, technology, and how the political shapes the personal. The collection, published August 18, has won universal acclaim: it was a New York Times Book Review “Editor’s Choice,” and earned raves from (among others) The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle. One one of the stories in the collection, “Nirvana,” won the prestigious Sunday Times short story prize.
In the story selected for reading at Stories on Stage, “Interesting Facts,” Johnson daringly mines his own life to create the tough and heartbreaking narrator, a woman whose illness makes her feel like a ghost in her own home. Adam Johnson is an associate professor of English at Stanford University, where he was a Stegner Fellow. Born in South Dakota and raised in Arizona, Johnson and his wife Stephanie live in San Francisco with their three
Reading “Interesting Facts,” from Fortune Smiles is Sacramento actress Kelley Ogden. Kelley is an accomplished performer, director and producer, most recently seen in the Capital Stage production of Rapture, Blister, Burn. She’s a co-founder of the acclaimed KOLT Run Creations theatre company and has appeared there in various productions. Regional credits also include Twelfth Night at Sacramento Shakespeare Festival; Sherlock’s Last Case and Leaving Iowa with Main Street Theatre Works; and Put Out with Theater Galatea. Kelley earned her BFA in Performance from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago.
Now in its sixth season, Stories on Stage Sacramento continues to bring the best in literary fiction to a growing Sacramento audience. Beginning with the 200+ people who attended the January kickoff event featuring Tobias Wolff, with readings by Janis Stevens and James Wheatley, enthusiastic attendees have heard readings from the work of Elena Mauli Shapiro, Sharma Shields, Ann Packer, Karen Bender, Kathryn Ma, T. Geronimo Johnson, and Bonnie ZoBell, and now, Pulitzer Prize winner Adam Johnson. Many local writers have had their fiction read here, and some local writers, such as Naomi Williams, the featured writer for October, have moved from “emerging” writer status to “featured” writer status with the publication of much-acclaimed debut novels. We’re proud of our 2015 season – and look forward to presenting more fine writing, well told, to Sacramento lovers of literature.
Stories on Stage Sacramento, Friday September 25 at Verge Center for the Arts, 625 Street, Sacramento. Doors open at 7:00PM, readings begin at 7:30. A $5 donation is suggested.