Aquariums of Pyongyang

Aquariums of Pyongyang : Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag

By (author) Kang Chol-Hwan , By (author) Pierre Rigoulot , Translated by Yair Reiner


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Kang Chol-Hwan is the first survivor of a North Korean concentration camp to escape the 'hermit kingdom' and tell his story to the world. This memoir reveals the human suffering in his camp, with its forced labour, frequent public executions and near-starvation rations. Kang eventually escaped to South Korea via China to give testimony to the hardships and atrocities that constitute the lives of the thousands of people still detained in the gulags today. Part horror story, part historical document, part memoir, part political tract, this story of one young man's personal suffering finally gives eye-witness proof to this neglected chapter of modern history.

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  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 22mm | 281.23g
  • 09 Feb 2006
  • London
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 1843544997
  • 9781843544999
  • 23,187

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Author Information

Kwang Chol-Hwan lives and works in Seoul, South Korea, where he is a staff writer for the daily newspaper Chosun Ilbo. Pierre Rigoulot has been published in twenty-eight languages.

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Review quote

"'One of the most terrifying memoirs I have ever read. As the first such account to emerge from North Korea, it is destined to become a classic.' Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking 'I beseech you to read this account' Christopher Hitchens"

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