Fortune Smiles: Stories
“Interesting Facts” is from Adam Johnson’s new collection, FORTUNE SMILES: STORIES (Random House, 2015). His work has appeared in Esquire, Harper’s, Playboy, GQ , The Paris Review, Granta, Tin House, The New York Times and Best American Short Stories. Johnson is the author of EMPORIUM, PARASITES LIKE US and THE ORPHAN MASTER’S SON, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction. He has received a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He teaches creative writing at Stanford University and lives in San Francisco.
Lauren Groff, reviewing the collection in the Sunday New York Times, wrote: “Interesting Facts,” the narrative that devastated me in a dark house full of my dreaming family, was complicated and made problematic when hitched to all the other stories in Johnson’s collection. The men in these tales are so trapped by their situations that reading one story after another made me feel as if I had been locked in a room with six intense and unpredictable strangers, all starved for my attention.
Ron Charles, writing in The Washington Post, praised the book: The six stories in Adam Johnson’s new collection, FORTUNE SMILES, will worm into your mind and ruin your balance for a few days. From ravaged American cities to abandoned torture chambers, these pieces take place in an uncanny world you recognize but don’t. They’re all cast in an unsettling twilight of moral struggle, and each one is a miniature demonstration of why his remarkable novel “The Orphan Master’s Son” won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.