Author(s): Hyok Kang
Hyok Kang was eighteen when he escaped from North Korea, a country locked away from the outside world. This personal, illustrated account of school days in a rigidly communist institution and everyday life with his family and community provides a rare glimpse of this secretive nation. His shocking and moving portrayal bears witness to this spirited young boy's resilience and survival in a society forced to operate under the shadow of labour camps, public executions and the deception of UN representatives by Korean officials. When the famine comes so too does death by starvation of friends and close ones, and Hyok Kang watches as his classmates drop out of school one by one, too weak to attend. All this is normal. After all, the propaganda North Koreans are fed by their government insists that compared to the rest of the world, this is paradise! Hyok Kang's childhood and courageous escape through China Vietnam and Cambodia to South Korea is a remarkable story that goes to the heart of a nation living under a disturbing delusion of paradise'.
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'An engrossing picture of a nation that remains closed to the world, aptly described as the Jurasic Park of communism' SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY 'This is a rare and precious insight into the most obscure regime on earth through the startled and observant eyes o 'An engrossing picture of a nation that remains closed to the world, aptly described as the "Jurasic Park of communism' SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY 'This is an extraordinary story: a simple, yet luminous, account of what it means to grow up in one of the world's little known and most oppressive dictatorships. This North Korean Harry Potter has the evils of tyranny to contend with and escape is the hard road to an asylum which is hardly that' Lisa Appignanesi 'This is a rare and precious insight into the most obscure regime on earth through the startled and observant eyes of a thirteen-year-old boy who not only escaped but survived to tell this harrowing yet intriguing tale. The most penetrating account of life in North Korea I have ever read' Jon Snow 'Kang recounts his life with the kind of deadpan detail that is all the more powerful for its quiet understatement ... His capacity as a storyteller turns out to be masterly ... The result is a small jewel of a book, one that moves you with compassion while educating you by stealth' Mail on Sunday 'An important and necessary read' Traveller Magazine
Hyok Kang escaped from North Korea by crossing the Tumen River to China with his parents. He now lives in South Korea.