Nothing to envy : ordinary lives in North Korea

by Demick, Barbara.

Format: Print Book 2009.
Availability: Available at 10 Libraries 10 of 14 copies
Available (10)
Location Collection Call #
Brentwood Library Nonfiction 951.93043 Demick
Location  Brentwood Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  951.93043 Demick
CLP - Allegheny Regional Non-Fiction Collection HN730.6.A8 D46 2009
Location  CLP - Allegheny Regional
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  HN730.6.A8 D46 2009
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction HN730.6.A8 D46 2009
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  HN730.6.A8 D46 2009
CLP - Squirrel Hill Non-Fiction Collection HN730.6.A8 D46 2009
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  HN730.6.A8 D46 2009
Carnegie Free Library of Swissvale Non Fiction 306.095 Dem
Location  Carnegie Free Library of Swissvale
Collection  Non Fiction
Call Number  306.095 Dem
Green Tree Public Library Adult Nonfiction 306.095193 DEM
Location  Green Tree Public Library
Collection  Adult Nonfiction
Call Number  306.095193 DEM
Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction 951.93 DEMICK
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Non-fiction
Call Number  951.93 DEMICK
Northern Tier Regional Library Nonfiction 306.0951 DEMIC
Location  Northern Tier Regional Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  306.0951 DEMIC
Northland Public Library Nonfiction 306.095193 D39
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  306.095193 D39
Upper St. Clair Township Library Non-fiction 951.93 DEM
Location  Upper St. Clair Township Library
Collection  Non-fiction
Call Number  951.93 DEM
Unavailable (4)
Location Collection Status
CLP - Downtown and Business First Floor - Non-Fiction Collection MISSING
Location  CLP - Downtown and Business
Collection  First Floor - Non-Fiction Collection
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction MISSING
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Shaler North Hills Library Non-Fiction IN TRANSIT
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
South Park Library Nonfiction CHECKED OUT
Location  South Park Library
Collection  Nonfiction
An eye-opening account of life inside North Korea--a closed world of increasing global importance--hailed as a "tour de force of meticulous reporting" ( The New York Review of Books )


In this landmark addition to the literature of totalitarianism, 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 (the father of Kim Jong-un), 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 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. She 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.

Praise for Nothing to Envy

"Provocative . . . offers extensive evidence of the author's deep knowledge of this country while keeping its sights firmly on individual stories and human details." -- The New York Times

"Deeply moving . . . The personal stories are related with novelistic detail." -- The Wall Street Journal

"A tour de force of meticulous reporting." -- The New York Review of Books

"Excellent . . . humanizes a downtrodden, long-suffering people whose individual lives, hopes and dreams are so little known abroad." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"The narrow boundaries of our knowledge have expanded radically with the publication of Nothing to Envy. . . . Elegantly structured and written, [it] is a groundbreaking work of literary nonfiction." --John Delury, Slate

"At times a page-turner, at others an intimate study in totalitarian psychology." -- The Philadelphia Inquirer
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* In spite of the strict restrictions on foreign press, award-winning journalist Demick caught telling glimpses of just how surreal and mournful life is in North Korea. Her chilling impressions of a dreary, muffled, and depleted land are juxtaposed with a uniquely to-the-point history of how North Korea became an industrialized Communist nation supported by the Soviet Union and China and ruled by Kim Il Sung, then collapsed catastrophically into poverty, darkness, and starvation under the dictator's son, Kim Jong Il. Demick's bracing chronicle of the horrific consequences of decades of brutality provide the context for the wrenching life stories of North Korean defectors who confided in Demick. Mi-ran explains that even though her tainted blood (her father was a South Korean POW) kept her apart from the man she loved, she managed to become a teacher, only to watch her starving students waste away. Dr. Kim Ki-eum could do nothing to help her dying patients. Mrs. Song, a model citizen, was finally forced to face cruel facts. Strongly written and gracefully structured, Demick's potent blend of personal narratives and piercing journalism vividly and evocatively portrays courageous individuals and a tyrannized state within a saga of unfathomable suffering punctuated by faint glimmers of hope.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "A fascinating and deeply personal look at the lives of six defectors from the repressive totalitarian regime of the Republic of North Korea, in which Demick, an L.A. Times staffer and former Seoul bureau chief, draws out details of daily life that would not otherwise be known to Western eyes because of the near-complete media censorship north of the arbitrary border drawn after Japan's surrender ending WWII. As she reveals, "ordinary" life in North Korea by the 1990s became a parade of horrors, where famine killed millions, manufacturing and trade virtually ceased, salaries went unpaid, medical care failed, and people became accustomed to stepping over dead bodies lying in the streets. Her terrifying depiction of North Korea from the night sky, where the entire area is blacked out from failure of the electrical grid, contrasts vividly with the propaganda on the ground below urging the country's worker-citizens to believe that they are the envy of the world. Thorough interviews recall the tremendous difficulty of daily life under the regime, as these six characters reveal the emotional and cultural turmoil that finally caused each to make the dangerous choice to leave. As Demick weaves their stories together with the hidden history of the country's descent into chaos, she skillfully re-creates these captivating and moving personal journeys. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Koreans -- Korea (North) -- Social conditions -- 21st century -- Case studies.
Koreans -- Korea (North) -- Economic conditions -- 21st century -- Case studies.
Korea (North) -- Social conditions -- 21st century.
Korea (North) -- Economic conditions -- 21st century.
Publisher New York :Spiegel & Grau,2009.
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description xii, 314 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [299]-314).
ISBN 9780385523905 (acid-free paper)
0385523904 (acid-free paper)
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