Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea


By (author) Barbara Demick

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  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
  • Format: Hardback | 314 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 240mm x 32mm | 599g
  • Publication date: 29 December 2009
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0385523904
  • ISBN 13: 9780385523905
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, maps, frontispiece
  • Sales rank: 65,631

Product description

Nothing to Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over 15 years--a chaotic period that saw the unchallenged rise to power of Kim Jong Il and the devastation of a famine that killed one-fifth of the population.

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Author information

Barbara Demick is the Beijing bureau chief of the" Los Angeles Times. "Her reporting on North Korea won the Overseas Press Club's award for human rights reporting as well as awards from the Asia Society and the American Academy of Diplomacy. Her coverage of Sarajevo for "The Philadelphia Inquirer" won the George Polk Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting. Her previous book is "Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood."

Review quote

"The narrow boundaries of our knowledge have expanded radically with the publication of "Los Angeles Times" correspondent Barbara Demick's Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea....Elegantly structured and written, "Nothing To Envy "is a groundbreaking work of literary nonfiction."-"Slate " "Excellent... lovely work of narrative nonfiction....a book that offers extensive evidence of the author's deep knowledge of this country while keeping its sights firmly on individual stories and human details."-"New York Times" "A deeply moving book."- "Wall Street Journal" "Superbly reported account of life in North Korea''- "Bloomberg " "There's a simple way to determine how well a journalist has reported a story, internalized the details, seized control of the narrative and produced good work. When you read the result, you forget the journalist is there. Barbara Demick, the Los Angeles Times' Beijing bureau chief, has aced that test in "Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea," a clear-eyed and deeply reported look at one of the world's most dismal places.''- Cleveland Plain Dealer "The ring of authority as well as the suspense of a novel.''- "Washington Times" "Excellent new book is one of only a few that have made full use of the testimony of North Korean refugees and defectors. A delightful, easy-to-read work of literary nonfiction, it humanizes a downtrodden, long-suffering people whose individual lives, hopes and dreams are so little known abroad that North Koreans are often compared to robots... The tale of the star-crossed lovers, Jun-sang and Mi-ran, is so charming as to have inspired reports that Hollywood might be interested."-" San Francisco Chronicle " "In a stunning work of investigation, Barbara Demick removes North Korea's mask to reveal what lies beneath its media censorship and repressive dictatorship."-"Daily Beast " "In spite of the strict restrictions on foreign press, awardwinnin