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The harrowing memoir of life inside North Korea Amid escalating nuclear tensions, Kim Jong-un and North Korea's other leaders have kept a tight grasp on their one-party state, quashing any nascent opposition movements and sending all suspected dissidents to its brutal concentration camps for "re-education." Kang Chol-Hwan is the first survivor of one of these camps to escape and tell his story to the world, documenting the extreme conditions in these gulags and providing a personal insight into life in North Korea. Sent to the notorious labor camp Yodok when he was nine years old, Kang for ten years observed frequent public executions and endured forced labor and near-starvation rations. In 1992, he escaped to South Korea, where he found God and now advocates for human rights in North Korea. This record of one man's suffering gives eyewitness proof to the abuses perpetrated by the North Korean regime.Show more
A beautiful, unsettling novel about rebellion and taboo, violence and eroticism, and the twisting metamorphosis of a soul Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams - invasive images of blood and brutality - torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. Its a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice thats become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but also from herself. Celebrated by critics around the world, The Vegetarian is a darkly allegorical, Kafka-esque tale of power, obsession, and one womans struggle to break free from the violence both without and within her. From the Hardcover edition.Show more
Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable, audiobook edition of A Kim Jong-Il Production, by Paul Fischer, read by Stephen Park. Before becoming the world's most notorious dictator, Kim Jong-Il ran North Korea's film industry. He directed every film made in the country but knew they were nothing compared to Hollywood. Then he hit on the perfect solution: order the kidnapping of South Korea's most famous actress and her ex-husband, the country's most acclaimed director. In a jaw-dropping mission the couple were kidnapped, held hostage and then 'employed' to make films for the Dear Leader, including a remake of Godzilla. They gained Kim's trust - but could they escape?Show more
Before becoming the world’s most notorious dictator, Kim Jong-Il ran North Korea’s Ministry for Propaganda and its film studios. Conceiving every movie made, he acted as producer and screenwriter. Despite this control, he was underwhelmed by the available talent and took drastic steps, ordering the kidnapping of Choi Eun-Hee (Madam Choi)—South Korea’s most famous actress—and her ex-husband Shin Sang-Ok, the country’s most famous filmmaker. Madam Choi vanished first. When Shin went to Hong Kong to investigate, he was attacked and woke up wrapped in plastic sheeting aboard a ship bound for North Korea. Madam Choi lived in isolated luxury, allowed only to attend the Dear Leader’s dinner parties. Shin, meanwhile, tried to escape, was sent to prison camp, and "re-educated." After four years he cracked, pledging loyalty. Reunited with Choi at the first party he attends, it is announced that the couple will remarry and act as the Dear Leader’s film advisors. Together they made seven films, in the process gaining Kim Jong-Il’s trust. While pretending to research a film in Vienna, they flee to the U.S. embassy and are swept to safety. A nonfiction thriller packed with tension, passion, and politics, A Kim Jong-Il Production offers a rare glimpse into a secretive world, illuminating a fascinating chapter of North Korea’s history that helps explain how it became the hermetically sealed, intensely stage-managed country it remains today.Show more
Japan, 1939. On the Street of a Thousand Blossoms in Tokyo, two orphaned brothers are growing up with loving grandparents who inspire them to dream of a future firmly rooted in tradition. The older boy, Hiroshi, shows early signs of promise in sumo wrestling, while Kenji is fascinated by the art of creating exquisite masks for actors in the Noh theater. But as the ripples of war spread all the way to their quiet neighborhood, the brothers must put their dreams on hold-and then forge their own paths in a new Japan. In a powerfully moving story that spans almost thirty years, Gail Tsukiyama brings her acclaimed depth of character and emotion to her biggest canvas yet-an epic novel of tradition and change, of loss and renewal, and above all of the enduring strength of family ties-at a turning point in modern history.Show more