Summaries and reviews of fiction and nonfiction books by Korean American authors,
books about Korean Americans and Korea, and Korean literature in English translation,
including some academic works and a sampling on the Korean War
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, by Barbara Demick
One of the few books on North Korea to break into the mainstream reading public, Demick followed 6 people for 15 years of daily living in the oppressive totalitarian culture, who eventually make the difficult choice to defect, despite knowing the repercussions those left behind will suffer. Part of what makes Demick’s book stand apart from many others that attempt to expose life behind the curtain, is her astute eye and superior level of experienced journalism that relate moments and situations with a Western sensibility. Generic photographs of street scenes throughout the book augment the harsh reality of these stories.