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Hyeonseo Lee: The Girl with Seven Names and three book launches

Hyeonseo Lee

Hyeonseo Lee’s memoir, The Girl with Seven Names, is published on 2 July. Three separate events on 1 July (Asia House), 2 July (European Association for Human Rights in North Korea) and 3 July (Guardian / Amnesty) will give you the chance to hear her story and get a signed copy. Details in date order below.

1 July, 6:30pm at Asia House:

Hyeonseo Lee: Life in North Korea

Organiser: Asia House
Venue: Asia House | 63 New Cavendish Street | London W1G 7LP
Date & time: Wednesday 1 July | 6:30pm – 8pm
Tickets: General – £10 | Concessions – £8 | Members – £6
Booking: Asia House website

Asia House is pleased to host a night with Hyeonseo Lee, who escaped North Korea at the age of 17. Talking about her memoir The Girl with Seven Names (published 2 July 2015), Hyeonseo will provide extraordinary insight into the lives of North Koreans generally on top of telling her own incredible story.

As a child, Hyeonseo lived a privileged middle class life in North Korea and thought her country was “the best on the planet”. It wasn’t until the devastating famine of the 1990s that she began to question this belief. When she escaped to China she spent years in hiding as an illegal immigrant, with no identity and seven names.

She eventually sought asylum in South Korea and after 11 years journeyed back to North Korea to rescue her mother and brother.

She is now at university in South Korea, where she is a human-rights advocate and spokesperson for the North Korean refugee community.

In conversation with Jemimah Steinfeld, Literature Festival Manager at Asia House, this talk will offer rare insight into one of the world’s most secretive nations.

A drinks reception and book signing will follow.

2 July, 3pm at the Linnean Society:

The Girl with Seven Names: a Discussion with Hyeonseo Lee

Organiser: European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea
Venue: The Meeting Room| The Linnean Society| Burlington House | Piccadilly | London W1J 0BF
Date & time: Thursday 2 July | 3pm – 5pm
Tickets: £5 early bird (up to the 15th of June) / £7 thereafter / £3 students.
Booking: Eventbrite website

We are delighted to announce that Hyeonseo Lee will be the next guest speaker for our North Korean Memoirs project. Hyeonseo’s riveting story is the focus of her upcoming memoir, ‘The Girl with Seven Names’. Join us at 3pm, Thursday, July 2 at The Linnean Society, London to hear Hyeonseo give a speech, participate in a panel discussion and Q&A, and then sign copies of her book. Tickets in advance are £5 (early bird available until June 15th)/£7 thereafter. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door for £10.

Hyeonseo Lee first came to international attention when her speech at Ted in 2013 went viral, reaching 4 million viewers. Since then, her star as a determined and powerful advocate for the North Korean people has continued to grow. Following high-profile speeches at Stanford University, the Oslo Freedom Forum, and many other conferences and forums, Hyeonseo will make her first public appearances in the UK in early July to promote her book.

North Korean Memoirs is a multifaceted platform created by the European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea to support the agency and voices of North Koreans in exile. Through interviews, written memoirs, online events, public testimonies, Q&As, lectures, debates and discussions, North Korean Memoirs acts as a focal point of our work to document and disseminate the unedited voices of exiled North Koreans.

3.00pm – 3.10pm: Keynote Speech
3.10pm – 3.35pm: Hyeonseo Lee’s Speech
3.35pm – 4.30pm: Panel Discussion
4.30pm – 5.00pm: Book signing

3 July, 7pm at Amnesty:

Guardian Live: Hyeonseo Lee on escaping North Korea and John Sweeney on reporting from inside the ‘hermit kingdom’

Organiser: The Guardian
Venue: Amnesty International UK | Human Rights Action Centre | 17-25 New Inn Yard | London EC2A 3EA
Date & time: Friday 3 July | 7pm – 8:30pm
Tickets: £15. Partners/Patrons £7.50
Booking: Guardian website

In 1997 Hyeonseo Lee had just turned 17 when, after witnessing the devastating effects of a country-wide famine, she decided to risk everything by escaping across the border to China.

Her mother’s first words over the telephone to her lost daughter were, ‘don’t come back’. Twelve years later, she returned to the country of her birth in a daring mission to smuggle her family to South Korea.

Hear Hyeonseo Lee’s incredible story as she publishes her memoir, The Girl With Seven Names, and find out more about a country that’s shrouded in mystery, much misunderstood and mocked by the West. Lee will be joined by academic and editor of, Adam Cathcart and the BBC’s John Sweeney, who in 2013 went undercover for Panorama, gaining unprecedented access to the world’s most secret state. Chaired by The Guardian’s Emma Graham-Harrison.

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