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Unbroken Spirits: Nineteen Years in South Korea’s Gulag

Translated by:
Publisher: , 2001
Link to online store *

From the publisher’s website:

This is the remarkable and wrenching memoir of a South Korean dissident who was unjustly accused of spying for the North Koreans and jailed for nineteen years as a political prisoner. The updated English-language edition traces Suh Sung’s experiences as a Korean citizen of Japan before his incarceration, his time in prison, and his subsequent release. Readers will be moved and awed by Suh’s courage under torture and solitary confinement. This memoir is an invaluable document for all concerned about human rights and a moving testimony to one man’s incredible determination.

LKL says:

Despite its grim subject, the book has a warm, human heart, reflecting the endurance of its author. Along the way we learn interesting facts about Japanese discrimination against their Korean population in the post-war years, and we learn that Oh Dae-su’s wall-punching exercises in Oldboy were not a perverse invention of Park Chan-wook: this is, or was, a fist-toughening practice widespread in Korea’s prisons. Very readable and highly recommended.

LKL rating: score-2score-2score-2score-2score-1. Read our review of this book here.

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* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (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 and 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.