Monday, July 05, 2010

Nothing to Envy

Nothing to Envy
Barbara Demick, Granta Books, 2010

North Korea is one of the most repressive and secretive states on earth. Spying is encouraged, the media is government controlled, Gone with the Wind is a dangerous, banned book. In the 1990s, famine descended. Millions of people died, but the regime remained in power. Through extensive interviews, Barbara Demick has created the first portrait of life in this extraordinary country, weaving together the stories of six ordinary citizens in a gripping and vivid account of adversity and survival in the land of ‘Our Dear Leader’. 

‘Many scholars have pored over North Korea’s atrocious history, its fearful politics, abysmal economics and blood-curdling propaganda. No writer I know has done a better job of clothing these academic concerns with the rich detail of the lives of ordinary people – explaining, simply, what it feels like to be a citizen of the cruellest, most repressive and most retrograde country in the world’ The Times 

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