Granta £8.99 (316pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Nothing To Envy, By Barbara Demick
Friday 30 July 2010
A foreign correspondent at the LA Times, Barbara Demick had already distinguished herself with award-winning coverage of the war in Sarajevo before producing this meticulous and surprisingly intimate study of North Korea, a regime usually cloistered behind one of the world's few remaining iron curtains from where foreign journalists find their job rendered impossible.
She shows us "a bleak and dark country where millions have died of starvation [but where] there is also love." For her effort, she recently won the Samuel Johnson prize and deservedly so.
The book reads with the emotional intensity of fiction, yet it rigorously trails the realities of ordinary people from their love lives (and outdoor sex) to disillusioned defectors.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Gorillaz Phase 4: Cartoon supergroup is back as new artwork is unveiled
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
As Better Call Saul launches, here are the other spin-off shows we need to see
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election