Pulitzer Prize Recipient Adam Johnson came and guest-lectured about his works.
Johnson began the lecture with a few short comments proposing the nearby prison guard towers as “perfect places to write.”
Johnson read one of his short stories entitled Nirvana, a dystopian-themed story involving the frontman of the titular band. Reading the story in full, the audience was captivated by Johnson’s delivery, imagery, and the way in which he wrapped the story.
After finishing the story, the event was opened up to the Q&A portion. When asked how his life inspired Nirvana, Johnson advised, “If you put what you feel into a story, then it will come out. My wife was going through [a medical condition] at the time, and I wanted to show the hardships medical conditions can bring.”
Next, an attendee asked how Johnson is able to be so open in his writing, to which he replied, “On the page, I can be vulnerable and go places I never thought imaginable. A great tip for storytelling is to yield the reader’s mind and have the story tell them what to think or what to feel.”
After the Q&A portion of the event concluded, it was opened up to a reception and book signing.
Adam Johnson is a recipient of the 2015 National Book Award for Fiction and the 2013 Pulitzer Prize recipient for Fiction for his novel The Orphan Master’s Son. He is currently the Phil and Penny Knight Professor of Creative Writing at Stanford University. Johnson’s works have been translated into more than thirty languages and have appeared in GQ, Esquire, and Harper’s Magazine.