WINNER OF THE 2010 SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION What if the world imagined by George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-four was real? What if everything around you was black and white except for the red letters on propaganda signs? Where spies like Orwell's thought Police studied your facial expressions during political rallies to make sure you were sincere in your expressions and your thoughts? If you couldn't turn the dials of your radio away from the government station?In fact, there is such a place: North Korea, the only country not connected to the Internet by choice. Ruled over by a dictator, visible only in carefully controlled images, it's a mysterious, even sinister country. But it's also a place where 22 million people live, work, and dream of a different life.Journalist Barbara Demick spent a decade covering North Korea's strange politics and regulations. then one day she met a young woman defector, Mi-ran, who told her about growing up there; about the cinema she used to go to when the country still had electricity, and about the teenage romance which blossomed there.through Mi-ran's story Demick glimpsed another, more human side of North Korea.In Nothing to Envy, Demick re-traces the life of Mi-ran and of five other North Koreans, taking us into the heart of an elusive society. We see her subjects fall in love, nurture ambitions, and struggle with survival and betrayal. their stories form a haunting portrait of a bizarre society and the cost it exacts on its citizens.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Journalist Barbara Demick’s account of life in modern-day North Korea is beautifully written and thoroughly frightening. Interviews with six defectors from the world’s most walled-off and repressive nation provide Demick with a jumping-off point for her compassionate exploration of how North Korea’s ordinary citizens engage in everyday activities like shopping and forming friendships and romantic relationships against the backdrop of mind-boggling depravation and suffering. Nothing to Envy: Life, Love and Death in North Korea is an important book that frames the tragedy of the Asian country’s totalitarian regime through a compelling, relatable and deeply affecting lens.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This is a truly amazing book. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. The characters come to life and you begin to feel the struggles that are facing them. 5 stars without a doubt