Without You There Is No Us

Author: Suki Kim
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 9780307720672
Release Date: 2014-10-14
Genre: History

A haunting account of teaching English to the sons of North Korea's ruling class during the last six months of Kim Jong-il's reign Every day, three times a day, the students march in two straight lines, singing praises to Kim Jong-il and North Korea: Without you, there is no motherland. Without you, there is no us. It is a chilling scene, but gradually Suki Kim, too, learns the tune and, without noticing, begins to hum it. It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, the students sent to construction fields—except for the 270 students at the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), a walled compound where portraits of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il look on impassively from the walls of every room, and where Suki has gone undercover as a missionary and a teacher. Over the next six months, she will eat three meals a day with her young charges and struggle to teach them English, all under the watchful eye of the regime. Life at PUST is lonely and claustrophobic, especially for Suki, whose letters are read by censors and who must hide her notes and photographs not only from her minders but from her colleagues—evangelical Christian missionaries who don't know or choose to ignore that Suki doesn't share their faith. As the weeks pass, she is mystified by how easily her students lie, unnerved by their obedience to the regime. At the same time, they offer Suki tantalizing glimpses of their private selves—their boyish enthusiasm, their eagerness to please, the flashes of curiosity that have not yet been extinguished. She in turn begins to hint at the existence of a world beyond their own—at such exotic activities as surfing the Internet or traveling freely and, more dangerously, at electoral democracy and other ideas forbidden in a country where defectors risk torture and execution. But when Kim Jong-il dies, and the boys she has come to love appear devastated, she wonders whether the gulf between her world and theirs can ever be bridged. Without You, There Is No Us offers a moving and incalculably rare glimpse of life in the world's most unknowable country, and at the privileged young men she calls "soldiers and slaves."

Without You There is No Us

Author: Suki Kim
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781846044830
Release Date: 2015-02-02
Genre: History

It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, except for the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. This is where Suki Kim has accepted a job teaching English. Over the next six months she will eat three meals a day with her young charges and struggle to teach them to write, all under the watchful eye of the regime. Life at the university is lonely and claustrophobic. Her letters are read by censors and she must hide her notes and photographs not only from her minders but also from her colleagues, evangelical Christian missionaries, whose faith she does not share. As the weeks pass she discovers how easily her students lie, and how total is their obedience to Kim Jong-il. She also, bravely, hints at the existence of a world beyond their own: the internet, free travel, democracy, and other ideas forbidden in a country where torture and execution are commonplace. Yet her pupils are also full of boyish enthusiasm, with flashes of curiosity not yet extinguished. Without You, There Is No Us offers a moving and incalculably rare glimpse of life inside the world's most inscrutable country.

Without You There Is No Us

Author: Suki Kim
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781473527652
Release Date: 2014-12-04
Genre: Political Science

It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, except for the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. This is where Suki Kim has accepted a job teaching English. Over the next six months she will eat three meals a day with her young charges and struggle to teach them to write, all under the watchful eye of the regime. Life at the university is lonely and claustrophobic. Her letters are read by censors and she must hide her notes and photographs not only from her minders but also from her colleagues, evangelical Christian missionaries, whose faith she does not share. As the weeks pass she discovers how easily her students lie, and how total is their obedience to Kim Jong-il. She also, bravely, hints at the existence of a world beyond their own: the internet, free travel, democracy, and other ideas forbidden in a country where torture and execution are commonplace. Yet her pupils are also full of boyish enthusiasm, with flashes of curiosity not yet extinguished. Without You, There Is No Us offers a moving and incalculably rare glimpse of life inside the world's most inscrutable country.

The Interpreter

Author: Suki Kim
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429923784
Release Date: 2004-01-01
Genre: Fiction

A striking first novel about the dark side of the American Dream Suzy Park is a twenty-nine-year-old Korean American interpreter for the New York City court system. Young, attractive, and achingly alone, she makes a startling and ominous discovery during one court case that forever alters her family's history. Five years prior, her parents--hardworking greengrocers who forfeited personal happiness for their children's gain--were brutally murdered in an apparent robbery of their fruit and vegetable stand. Or so Suzy believed. But the glint of a new lead entices Suzy into the dangerous Korean underworld, and ultimately reveals the mystery of her parents' homicide. An auspicious debut about the myth of the model Asian citizen, The Interpreter traverses the distance between old worlds and new, poverty and privilege, language and understanding.

North Korea Undercover Inside the World s Most Secret State

Author: John Sweeney
Publisher: Pegasus Books
ISBN: 9781605988030
Release Date: 2015-07-15
Genre: History

An authoritative and, at times, frightening investigation into the dark side of North Korean society. North Korea is like no other tyranny on earth. Its citizens are told their home is the greatest nation on earth. Big Brother is always watching: It is Orwell's 1984 made reality. Award-winning BBC journalist John Sweeney is one of the few foreign journalists to have witnessed the devastating reality of life in the controversial and isolated nation of North Korea, having entered the country undercover, posing as a university professor with a group of students from the London School of Economics. Huge factories with no staff or electricity; hospitals with no patients; uniformed child soldiers; and the world-famous and eerily empty DMZ—the DeMilitarized Zone, where North Korea ends and South Korea begins—all framed by the relentless flow of regime propaganda from omnipresent loudspeakers. Free speech is an illusion: one word out of line and the gulag awaits. State spies are everywhere, ready to punish disloyalty and the slightest sign of discontent. Drawing on his own experiences and his extensive interviews with defectors and other key witnesses, Sweeney's North Korea Undercover pulls back the curtain, providing a rare insight into life there today, examining the country's troubled history and addressing important questions about its uncertain future.

The Accusation

Author: Bandi
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 9780802189349
Release Date: 2017-03-07
Genre: Fiction

The Accusation is a deeply moving and eye-opening work of fiction that paints a powerful portrait of life under the North Korean regime. Set during the period of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il's leadership, the seven stories that make up The Accusation give voice to people living under this most bizarre and horrifying of dictatorships. The characters of these compelling stories come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from a young mother living among the elite in Pyongyang whose son misbehaves during a political rally, to a former Communist war hero who is deeply disillusioned with the intrusion of the Party into everything he holds dear, to a husband and father who is denied a travel permit and sneaks onto a train in order to visit his critically ill mother. Written with deep emotion and writing talent, The Accusation is a vivid depiction of life in a closed-off one-party state, and also a hopeful testament to the humanity and rich internal life that persists even in such inhumane conditions.

See You Again in Pyongyang

Author: Travis Jeppesen
Publisher: Hachette Books
ISBN: 9780316509138
Release Date: 2018-05-29
Genre: History

From terrifying missile tests, its unmissable Olympic cheering squad, and the war of words between President Trump and Kim Jong Un--not to mention stranger-than-fiction stories of purges and assassinations--news from North Korea has dominated global headlines. But what is life there actually like? In See You Again in Pyongyang, Travis Jeppesen, the first American to complete a university program in North Korea, culls from his experiences living, traveling, and studying in the country to create a multifaceted portrait of the country and its idiosyncratic capital city in the Kim Jong Un Era. Anchored by the experience of his five trips to North Korea and his interactions with citizens from all walks of life, Jeppesen reveals how the North Korean system actually functions and perpetuates itself in the day-to-day, beyond the propaganda-fueled ideology. He challenges the notion that Pyongyang is merely a "showcase capital" where everything is staged for the benefit of foreigners, as well as the idea that Pyongyangites are brainwashed robots. With unique personal insight and a rigorous historical grounding, Jeppesen goes beyond the cliches of "taboo tourism" and the "good versus evil" tenor of politicians and media reports. See You Again in Pyongyang is an essential addition to the literature about one of the world's most fascinating and mysterious places.

Dear Leader

Author: Jang Jin-sung
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781476766560
Release Date: 2015-01-27
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

"In this rare insider's view into contemporary North Korea, a high-ranking counterintelligence agent describes his life as a former poet laureate to Kim Jong-il and his breathtaking escape to freedom. "The General will now enter the room." Everyone turns to stone. Not moving my head, I direct my eyes to a point halfway up the archway where Kim Jong-il's face will soon appear... As North Korea's State Poet Laureate, Jang Jin-sung led a charmed life. With food provisions (even as the country suffered through its great famine), a travel pass, access to strictly censored information, and audiences with Kim Jong-il himself, his life in Pyongyang seemed safe and secure. But this privileged existence was about to be shattered. When a strictly forbidden magazine he lent to a friend goes missing, Jang Jin-sung must flee for his life. Never before has a member of the elite described the inner workings of this totalitarian state and its propaganda machine. An astonishing expose; told through the heart-stopping story of Jang Jin-sung's escape to South Korea, Dear Leader is a rare and unprecedented insight into the world's most secretive and repressive regime"--

Korea s Place in the Sun A Modern History Updated

Author: Bruce Cumings
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393347531
Release Date: 2005-09-17
Genre: History

"Passionate, cantankerous, and fascinating. Rather like Korea itself."--Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times Book Review Korea has endured a "fractured, shattered twentieth century," and this updated edition brings Bruce Cumings's leading history of the modern era into the present. The small country, overshadowed in the imperial era, crammed against great powers during the Cold War, and divided and decimated by the Korean War, has recently seen the first real hints of reunification. But positive movements forward are tempered by frustrating steps backward. In the late 1990s South Korea survived its most severe economic crisis since the Korean War, forcing a successful restructuring of its political economy. Suffering through floods, droughts, and a famine that cost the lives of millions of people, North Korea has been labeled part of an "axis of evil" by the George W. Bush administration and has renewed its nuclear threats. On both sides Korea seems poised to continue its fractured existence on into the new century, with potential ramifications for the rest of the world.

The Real North Korea

Author: Andrei Lankov
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199390038
Release Date: 2014-12-01
Genre: HISTORY

After providing an accessible history of the nation, the author turns his focus to what North Korea is, what its leadership thinks and how its people cope with living in such an oppressive and poor place, arguing that North Korea is not irrational, but rather a nation that has survived against all odds.

North Korea Confidential

Author: Daniel Tudor
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
ISBN: 9781462915125
Release Date: 2015-04-14
Genre: History

**Named one of the best books of 2015 by The Economist** Private Markets, Fashion Trends, Prison Camps, Dissenters and Defectors. North Korea is one of the most troubled societies on earth. The country's 24 million people live under a violent dictatorship led by a single family, which relentlessly pursues the development of nuclear arms, which periodically incites risky military clashes with the larger, richer, liberal South, and which forces each and every person to play a role in the "theater state" even as it pays little more than lip service to the wellbeing of the overwhelming majority. With this deeply anachronistic system eventually failed in the 1990s, it triggered a famine that decimated the countryside and obliterated the lives of many hundreds of thousands of people. However, it also changed life forever for those who survived. A lawless form of marketization came to replace the iron rice bowl of work in state companies, and the Orwellian mind control of the Korean Workers' Party was replaced for many by dreams of trade and profit. A new North Korea Society was born from the horrors of the era—one that is more susceptible to outside information than ever before with the advent of k-pop and video-carrying USB sticks. This is the North Korean society that is described in this book. In seven fascinating chapters, the authors explore what life is actually like in modern North Korea today for the ordinary "man and woman on the street." They interview experts and tap a broad variety of sources to bring a startling new insider's view of North Korean society—from members of Pyongyang's ruling families to defectors from different periods and regions, to diplomats and NGOs with years of experience in the country, to cross-border traders from neighboring China, and textual accounts appearing in English, Korean and Chinese sources. The resulting stories reveal the horror as well as the innovation and humor which abound in this fascinating country.

The Underground Girls of Kabul

Author: Jenny Nordberg
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780307952509
Release Date: 2015
Genre: Social Science

An award-winning foreign correspondent who contributed to a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times series reveals the secret Afghan custom of disguising girls as boys to improve their prospects, discussing its political and social significance as well as the experiences of its practitioners.

A Kim Jong Il Production

Author: Paul Fischer
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9781250054265
Release Date: 2015-02-03
Genre: History

Documents the North Korean dictator's 1978 kidnapping of a South Korean actress and her filmmaker ex-husband, describing how they were imprisoned, forced to remarry, and compelled to make films for their captor before their daring escape.

The Interior Circuit

Author: Francisco Goldman
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 9780802192639
Release Date: 2014-07-02
Genre: Travel

The author of Say Her Name shares a deeply personal memoir of grieving the loss of his wife—and confronting the troubled city where she grew up. Five years after his wife’s untimely death, Francisco Goldman decided to overcome his fear of driving in Mexico City. The widower and award-winning writer wanted to symbolize his love and enduring grief by fully embracing his late wife’s childhood home and the city that came to mean so much to them. The Interior Circuit is Goldman’s chronicle of his personal and political awakening to the nuances of this unique city as he learns to navigate the “circuito interior,” a network of highway-like roads that crisscross the traffic-plagued city. Many regard Mexico’s capital—then known as the “DF” or Distrito Federal—as a haven from the many social ills and violence that wracks the rest of the country. Goldman’s account reveals the more complicated truth. As Mexico’s narco war raged on and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (the PRI) returned to power in the summer 2012 elections, the DF’s special apartness came under threat. When organized crime–related violence and death erupt in the summer of 2013, Goldman sets out to try to understand the new challenges facing the city. Part travelogue, part memoir, and part political reportage, The Interior Circuit “is so sneakily brilliant it’s hard to put into words. . . . It is also, in the finest sense, a book that creates its own form” (Los Angeles Times).