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Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea

Author:
Publisher: , 2010.
Link to online store *

From the publisher’s website:

WINNER OF THE BBC SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION 2010

A spectacularly revealing and harrowing portrait of ordinary lives in the world’s least ordinary country, North Korea

North Korea is Orwell’s 1984 made reality: it is the only country in the world not connected to the internet; Gone with the Wind is a dangerous, banned book; during political rallies, spies study your expression to check your sincerity. After the death of the country’s great leader Kim Il Sung in 1994, famine descended, and Nothing to Envy – winner of the 2010 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction – weaves together the stories of adversity and resilience of six residents of Chongin, North Korea’s third-largest city. From extensive interviews and with tenacious investigative work, Barbara Demick has recreated the concerns, culture and lifestyles of North Korean citizens in a gripping narrative, and vividly reconstructed the inner workings of this extraordinary and secretive country.

LKL says:

Demick’s book is a valuable and moving portrait of life in North Korea miles away from the capital in the 1990s and early 2000s, and it illuminates the nature of the regime by examining its impact on the lives of real people.

LKL rating: score-2score-2score-2score-2score-2

Read our review of this book here. Entry on Goodreads.com here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.