Nothing to Envy

Nothing to Envy : Real Lives in North Korea

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A satellite photograph of Asia by night shows a black hole where North Korea should be. There is simply not enough electricity to keep the lights burning. This hermetic country is Orwell's 1984 made reality. After the country's leader Kim Il Sung's death in 1994, famine descended: people stumbled over dead bodies in the street and ate tree bark to survive."Nothing to Envy" weaves together the stories of adversity and resilience of six residents of Chongin, North Korea's third largest city. Two lovers, who dated secretly for a decade, feared to criticise the regime to each other. A loyal factory worker watched her husband and son die of starvation before escaping the country. An orphaned child took to the streets, and a once-idealistic doctor, whose father committed suicide when Kim Il Sung died, took bribes to buy food. Barbara Demick has reconstructed the inner workings of this extraordinary country from extensive interviews and with tenacious investigative work. In telling the stories of Chongin's residents, she has recreated the lifestyles of North Korean citizens from their interests and concerns to their culture - and from responses to the megalomaniacal leader Kim Jong Il.

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  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 134 x 216mm
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • Export ed
  • 184708107X
  • 9781847081070

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About Barbara Demick

Barbara Demick has worked as a staff reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, covering Wall Street and the presidential elections, among other assignments. Her coverage of the war in Sarajevo won the George Polk Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Award, and she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting. She is now a foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, where she has reported from the Middle East and South Korea. She is currently based in Beijing

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