“You remember Eat, Pray, Love and Under the Tuscan Sun? Yeah, this really isn’t like those. It’s better” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Most people want out of North Korea. Wendy Simmons wanted in.
In My Holiday in North Korea: The Funniest/Worst Place on Earth, Wendy shares a glimpse of North Korea as it’s never been seen before. Even though it’s the scariest place on Earth, somehow Wendy forgot to check her sense of humor at the border.
But Wendy’s initial amusement and bewilderment soon turned to frustration and growing paranoia. Before long, she learned the essential conundrum of “tourism” in North Korea: Travel is truly a love affair. But, just like love, it’s a two-way street. And North Korea deprives you of all this. They want you to fall in love with the singular vision of the country they’re willing to show you and nothing more.
Through poignant, laugh-out-loud essays and ninety-two never-before-published color photographs of North Korea, Wendy chronicles one of the strangest vacations ever. Along the way, she bares all while undergoing an inner journey as convoluted as the country itself.
“Much of the humor and poignancy comes from the absurdity of a fun-loving free spirit taking a vacation that’s more rigidly scripted and controlled than a presidential motorcade . . . Simmons’ photos—including an eerie image of a classroom full of schoolgirls playing accordions—further illustrate the bizarre nature of a country that, whether for good or bad, has been carefully controlled for generations.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“An irresistible read . . . A rare and fascinating look at the tourist’s North Korea in a work that is humorous, appalling, and very sad. A highly recommended and revealing glimpse into a secretive land.” —Library Journal
She visits North Korea so you don’t have to
It’s a country that makes you curious, but perhaps not curious enough to spend thousands of dollars on what is obviously a rather painful experience. So what’s it like to live in the Hermit Kingdom? Fortunately for you, if you can read this review, you’ll never be able to find out. But if you want to know what it’s like to visit, here’s the answer. Funny, photogenic and very human, this account will tell you all you need about your potential visit. Somehow I don’t think it’s going to make you want to take the trip, but in the end, that’s up to you.