By Brooke Donald
The Pulitzer committee called the book "an exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart."
Johnson spent several years researching the book, his third, reading historical accounts and propaganda about the isolated country. He also read personal narratives from the few people who have defected and managed to visit North Korea under a tightly controlled state-sponsored trip.
In an interview with Stanford News, Johnson said he felt very fortunate to win the prize and hoped it would help shed light on the dire situation in North Korea.
"Through my research, I came to care very deeply about the people of North Korea," Johnson said.
Read more in the Stanford Report: