Demick’s North Korea Expose Wins Samuel Johnson Prize

In What's the Buzz by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea won the £20,000 pound ($30,000) Samuel Johnson yesterday. We thought Demick’s look into the lives of everyday North Koreans was unique and brave. You can read our coverage of the book, “Frogs In a Well: The Literary Life of North Koreans” which also covers The Cleanest Race by B.R. Myers. …

What Power Outage? North Korea’s Got E-books Too

In What's the Buzz by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka There’s a famous photograph — reproduced here — of the Korean peninsula at night as seen from space. The lower half, which is lit up light a light bulb, is South Korea; on top, in the dark, is North Korea. Despite the near constant power outages, that hasn’t stopped the North Korean government from jointing the digital …

What Book Would You Give North Koreans to Read?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Today’s lead story describes literary life in North Korea, where the authoritarian government restricts access to most books to very few elite in Pyongyang. While there are some Western books available, these are few and far between. “At the end of the day,” says Demick, “[North Korean] literature is totally subservient to propaganda, which is there to …