Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
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
Nothing to Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the unchallenged rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population.
Taking us into a landscape most of us have never before seen, award-winning journalist Barbara 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, in which radio and television dials are welded to the one government station, and where displays of affection are punished; a police state where informants are rewarded and where 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. Through meticulous and sensitive reporting, we see her six subjects—average North Korean citizens—fall in love, raise families, nurture ambitions, and struggle for survival. One by one, we experience the moments when they realize that their government has betrayed them.
Nothing to Envy is a groundbreaking addition to the literature of totalitarianism and an eye-opening look at a closed world that is of increasing global importance.
From the Hardcover edition.
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North KoreaUser Review - Georgiana Derwent - Goodreads
North Korea is a place that has long fascinated me, but this is the first time I've read about it in detail. This book serves as both a fantastic general introduction to the 20th century history of ... Read full review
Review: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North KoreaUser Review - Elizabeth - Goodreads
This was a great read. Talk about eye-opening! The author is a journalist who spent several years living in South Korea, visiting North Korea, and interviewing defectors from North Korea. Her book ... Read full review