North Korean Graphic Novels: Seduction of the Innocent?

From the publisher’s website: Graphic novels (kurimchaek) are a major art form in North Korea, produced by agents of the regime to set out its vision in a range of important areas. This book provides an analysis of North Korean graphic novels, discussing the ideals they promote and the tensions within those ideals, and examining […]

Friend

Publisher description: Paek Nam-nyong’s Friend is a tale of marital intrigue, abuse, and divorce in North Korea. A woman in her thirties comes to a courthouse petitioning for a divorce. As the judge who hears her statement begins to investigate the case, the story unfolds into a broader consideration of love and marriage. The novel […]

The Red Years: Forbidden Poems from Inside North Korea

From the publisher’s website: Though North Korea holds the attention of the world, it is still rare for us to hear North Korean voices, beyond those few who have escaped. Known only by his pen name, the poet and author ‘Bandi’ stands as one of the most distinctive and original dissident writers to emerge from […]

Rewriting Revolution: Women, Sexuality, and Memory in North Korean Fiction

Publisher description: North Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), is firmly fixed in the Western imagination as a barbaric vestige of the Cold War, a “rogue” nation that refuses to abide by international norms. It is seen as belligerent and oppressive, a poor nation bent on depriving its citizens of their basic human […]

The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea

In 1989, a North Korean dissident writer, known to us only by the pseudonym Bandi, began to write a series of stories about life under Kim Il-sung’s totalitarian regime. Smuggled out of North Korea and set for publication around the world in 2017, The Accusation provides a unique and shocking window on this most secretive […]

North Korean Writers in Exile PEN Literature (VOLUME Book 4)

North Korean Writers in Exile PEN Center is the 144th member of PEN International. Since defecting from North Korea because of their opposition to the dynastic dictatorship, the members of the center have been creating literature that depicts the harsh reality of North Korea and engaging in various activities to improve conditions there. The single […]

Reading North Korea: An Ethnological Inquiry

Often depicted as one of the world’s most strictly isolationist and relentlessly authoritarian regimes, North Korea has remained terra incognita to foreign researchers as a site for anthropological fieldwork. Given the difficulty of gaining access to the country and its people, is it possible to examine the cultural logic and social dynamics of the Democratic […]

Soldiers on the Cultural Front: Developments in the Early History of North Korean Literature and Literary Policy

From the publisher’s website: An understanding of contemporary North Korea’s literature is virtually impossible without an investigation of its formative period, 1945–1960, which saw a gradual transformation from the initial “Soviet era” to a Korean version of “national Stalinism.” This turbulent epoch established a long-lasting framework for North Korean literature and set up an elaborate […]

Literature from the “Axis of Evil”

From the publisher’s website: “The governments might be considered quote unquote the enemy, but definitely not the people. These stories and poems offer an alternate view, which is very different from the politicized and polarized view of these nations.” —Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran Subject of a full-length segment on Morning Edition […]

Korean Short Stories: A Collection from North Korea

A collection of short stories from North Korea, originally published in Pyongyang in 1986: History of Iron (1967) – Pyon Hui Gun Happiness (1963) – Sok Yun Gi Ogi (1961) – Chon Se Bong Fellow Travellers (1960) – Kim Byong Hun Everyone in Position! (1974) – Om Dan Ung Unfinished Sculpture (post 1980) – Ko […]

Han Sorya and North Korean Literature (+ Jackals)

This first and only study of North Korean literary history by a Western scholar deals with the crucial role played by Han Sōrya, chairman of the DPRK’s Federation of Literature and Art from 1948 to his purge in 1962, both in devising the iconography of Kim Il Sung’s personality cult and in defining the early […]