Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Without you, there is no us by Suki Kim

Without You, There Is No Us by Suki Kim

In 2011, Suki Kim spent a year undercover, working as a English teacher (and pretending to be a missionary) at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) -- a school attended by the children of North Korean leaders.

There, she struggles to teach them English composition, while every lesson plan is checked by censors and her students have no concept of the world beyond their borders.

Kim's memoir of her time at PUST allows readers a very personal glimpse at life in a country that we know so little about, and of the lives of some of its most-privileged citizens.

I listened to the audiobook (available from Overdrive) and found the narration very compelling.

For a taste of this memoir, check out this excerpt, published on

Readers who want to learn more about life in North Korea may also be interested in Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick or Escape from Camp 14: one man's remarkable odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden

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