Books on DPRK

No, this is not *my* bookshelf (it’s part of the Korean section at the university bookshop yesterday), though I do have a couple of these. I don’t have the yellow one, and don’t propose buying it. But I really recommend Sonia Ryang’s Reading North Korea – a look at how North Korea’s relationship with the […]

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Book review: Martin Limón — The Joy Brigade

by Philip Gowman 30 July 2013
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Martin Limón: The Joy Brigade Soho Press, 2012. 304pp Martin Limón’s eighth novel in the Ernie Bascom and George Sueño series covers new ground in many respects. It is the first novel in which we see Sueno on his own, not accompanied by his buddy Bascom. And it is the first time that Limon has […]

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Orphan Master wins Pulitzer

by Philip Gowman 16 April 2013
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At LKL we were lukewarm, but we don’t mind being in the minority. So congratulations to Adam Johnson for winning the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, “for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life,” with The Orphan Master’s Son. Source: www.pulitzer.org Authors: Adam Johnson

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You followed the blog, now buy the book

by Philip Gowman 12 January 2013
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You’ll probably have visited Kim Jong Il Looking at Things once in a while for some gentle entertainment at the expense of the late Dear Leader and his propaganda unit. The blog closed in December 2012, a year after his death, but now you can buy the book, from Jean Boîte Éditions, price EUR24 plus […]

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John Everard launches Only Beautiful Please at Asia House

by Philip Gowman 4 January 2013
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John Everard has already held a US launch of his entertaining book containing his reflections on life in North Korea – Only Beautiful Please. And LKL reviews the book here. We enjoyed it. He is now holding a UK launch at Asia House on 24 January. Only Beautiful, Please: A British Diplomat in North Korea […]

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Book Review: John Everard – Only Beautiful Please

by Philip Gowman 19 December 2012
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Only Beautiful Please – a British Diplomat in North Korea John Everard Asia/Pacific Research Center, Div of The Institute for International Studies, 2012, 250pp It is always with a sense of duty rather than eager anticipation that I pick up a book on the DPRK, regardless of who the author is. To the extent that […]

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Another book on the DPRK hits the bookshops

by Philip Gowman 27 August 2012
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I always get depressed when I see a new book on the DPRK, because the DPRK is a depressing subject. Plus, it’s the thought that people are spending their lives trying to figure out this unfathomable regime. It’s the thought that there’s another 500 pages which I feel I ought to read, but which if […]

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Damn! I’ve run out of shelf space

by Philip Gowman 22 August 2012
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I’ve run out of shelf space, so I have no room for the recently issued Volume 17 (enlarged edition) of Kim Jong-il’s selected works. Now I’ll never get the full set, or find out how to “More Firmly Strengthen Socialist Revolutionary Position by Doing Party Work Well”.

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John Everard launches “Only Beautiful Please”

by Philip Gowman 8 July 2012
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Former UK ambassador to Pyongyang John Everard has just launched his book “Only Beautiful Please” at a talk to the Korea Society. He caused a stir by saying North Koreans don’t like the Chinese, which links in with something the defector Kim Joo-il said in a letter to the FT in September 2010: North Koreans […]

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The Orphan Master’s Son: best left in the orphanage

by Philip Gowman 23 March 2012
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Adam Johnson: The Orphan Master’s Son Doubleday, 2012 The publication of The Orphan Master’s Son, the second novel by Adam Johnson, had lucky timing, surfing the wave of interest in the North caused by the death of Kim Jong-il. The newspapers duly lined up to review it to general acclaim, but an early battleground formed: […]

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James Church reviews The Orphan Master’s Son

by Philip Gowman 13 February 2012
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James Church reviews a new novel set in North Korea – The Orphan Master’s Son (http://t.co/pmm4ujv4) and raises many caveats at 38North.org http://t.co/7jByBVCN

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Tim Beal’s Crisis in Korea launched

by Philip Gowman 11 October 2011
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Tim Beal’s new book “Crisis in Korea – America, China and the Risk of War” (Pluto Press) will be launched at Arthur Probsthain Bookshop, 41 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3PE on 25 October, 6.30-8.30 pm. RSVP: arthurprobsthain@hotmail.com Tel: 0207 636 1096. Available on Amazon.co.uk now.

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Jiyoung Song’s Human Rights Discourse in North Korea

by Philip Gowman 9 August 2011
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Michael Rank reviews Jiyoung Song’s Human Rights Discourse in North Korea: Post-colonial, Marxist and Confucian Perspectives over at North Korean Economy Watch. “Thoughtful and well informed” http://bit.ly/pu8WLS

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New book on North Korean Art

by Philip Gowman 7 August 2011
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New book on North Korean art (“Exploring North Korean Arts”) is published following the 2010 exhibition and conference in Vienna. Chapters by Jim Hoare, AidanFC, Koen De Ceuster & others. http://amzn.to/pP3LF0 #

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DPRK-related books reviewed in Economist

by Philip Gowman 17 May 2011
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Three DPRK-related books get a brief review in the Economist. Guy Delisle’s Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea, the latest James Church, and the thriller Maximum Target by Martin Gower: http://econ.st/mqErGC #

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Chris Springer: North Korea Caught in Time

by Philip Gowman 5 May 2011
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Chris Springer: North Korea Caught in Time – Images of War and Reconstruction with introductory essay by Balázs Szalontai. Garnet Publishing, 2010 (148pp) In the English-speaking world, the story of the Korean war and its aftermath, if told at all, is told first from the perspective of the US and UN combatants that came to […]

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Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envy lives up to the hype

by Philip Gowman 27 November 2010
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Barbara Demick: Nothing to Envy – Real Lives in North Korea Granta, 2010 Why, when Korean Studies bookshelves are dominated by volumes about the North, about which so much less is known than the South, do we need yet another volume? Why, when we have so many defector eye-witness accounts of starvation, torture and oppression, […]

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