Nothing to Envy Real Lives in North Korea
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Shortlisted for the prestigious U.S. National Book Award 2010.
Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2010.
Evan Davis, chair of the judges and presenter of Radio 4 Today, announced the winner of the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction at the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA), London. He comments: “It is the personal detail in Nothing to Envy that makes it both gripping and moving. Nowhere will you find a better account of real life in North Korea, a society that is all too easily comically typecast by massive parades of co-ordinated flag-wavers. I think we knew this book had something when we found ourselves reading it out loud to spouses and partners. And it is a real testament to Demick’s writing, that a book on such a grim topic can be so hard to put down.”
Nothing to Envy Real Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
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. 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.