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: Random House Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 316 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 201mm x 23mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 21 September 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0385523912
  • ISBN 13: 9780385523912
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, maps
  • Sales rank: 2,511

Product description

A National Book Award finalist and National Book Critics Circle finalist, Barbara Demick s "Nothing to Envy" is a remarkable view into North Korea, as seen through the lives of six ordinary citizens Award-winning journalist Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Korean citizens over fifteen years a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, and a devastating famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Demick brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today an Orwellian world that is by choice not connected to the Internet, where displays of affection are punished, informants are rewarded, and an offhand remark can send a person to the gulag for life. Demick takes us deep inside the country, beyond the reach of government censors, and through meticulous and sensitive reporting we see her subjects fall in love, raise families, nurture ambitions, and struggle for survival. One by one, we witness their profound, life-altering disillusionment with the government and their realization that, rather than providing them with lives of abundance, their country has betrayed them."

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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." "From the Hardcover edition."

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 jo