Dystopian novel is FF Book Club selection for February

Fri, Feb 24 2023, 2pm

Event to be held via Zoom.

Awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson follows the misadventures of Jun Do, a North Korean everyman whose name is a homonym for John Doe. Raised in an orphanage, the son of the orphanage director, Jun Do is sent to combat training in the military and then on an undercover mission to kidnap Japanese women. According to the author, the abduction sequence, which goes badly, is based on historical facts. Jun Do manages to fail his numerous assignments but, nevertheless, is rewarded with ever more-satisfying promotions. 

Johnson, who is currently an associate professor in creative writing at Stanford University, based the novel on interviews with North Korean defectors. He visited the country once.

According to journalist Barbara Demick, who has reported extensively on the country, “It is a book full of audacity, more or less conforming to stereotypes about North Korea. I fear that some readers might have a hard time figuring out where fact leaves off and fiction begins. … North Korea, bad as it is, I've not heard of political prisoners being lobotomized with nails inserted over the eyeball.” Ugh!

The Orphan Master's Son is in a class of dystopian novels along with the classics 1984 and Brave New World.

UMRA's Fourth Friday Book Club meeting will be held via Zoom from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on February 24. Email Dorothy Marden or Margaret Catambay for information about how to join the meeting.

Upcoming Events

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Event Date: June 28, 2024, at 2pm

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Event Date: August 28, 2024, at 5:30pm

Enjoy a two-hour cruise on the Jonathan Padelford, leaving from the Harriet Island dock in St. Paul, boarding time at 5:30 p.m. We will have a brief program on board by Patrick Nunnally from the River Life Program of the Institute on the Environment.

Event Date: August 31, 2024, at 11:59pm

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Event Date: September 10, 2024, at 10:30am

Autumn is a wonderful season in Minnesota so plan to join UMRA at the Andersen Horticultural Library at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Kristen Mastel, head librarian and curator, will reveal its treasure trove of publications and artifacts relating to plant history, horticulture, and natural history. After the tour, those who are interested may stay to eat lunch together, sitting outside if the weather is nice. Later, you are invited to a one-hour tram tour of the entire Arboretum that includes natural areas of flowering shrubs, bogs, and forests, family garden and landscaping showpieces, and the red barn farm

Event Date: September 10, 2024, at 12:30pm

After a summer break the UMRA Photo Club will next meet September 10, 2024 in the meeting room of the Hennepin County St. Anthony Branch Library. For those interested in lunch, meet at the Great Dragon at 11:30 am. For September the THEME will be Curves