Adam Johnson was born on July 12, 1967 in South Dakota and raised in Arizona. He earned a BA in Journalism from Arizona State University in 1992; a MFA from the writing program at McNeese State University, where he was a classmate of the writer Neil Connelly, in 1996; and a PhD in English from Florida State University in 2000. Johnson is currently a San Francisco writer and associate professor in creative writing at Stanford University. He founded the Stanford Graphic Novel Project and was named "one of the nation's most influential and imaginative college professors" by Playboy Magazine. Johnson is the author of the novel The Orphan Master's Son 2012, which Michiko Kakutani, writing in The New York Times, has called, "a daring and remarkable novel, a novel that not only opens a frightening window on the mysterious kingdom of North Korea, but one that also excavates the very meaning of love and sacrifice." Johnson received the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 2013 and a Whiting Writers' Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Swarthout Writing Award, a Kingsbury Fellowship and a Stegner Fellowship. He was named Debut Writer of the Year in 2002 by Amazon.com, and in 2003 he was selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers series. He was nominated for a Young Lions Award from the New York Public Library and received scholarships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers' conferences. In 2010, he won the Gina Berriault Literary Award. On April 15, 2013 Johnson won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for The Orphan Master's Son which also made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2013.