March Book: Friend - a Novel From North Korea
For our meeting in March, we opted for something unusual: a novel from North Korea, Paek Nam-nyong’s Friend. The book was very successful in North Korea, then crossed the border into South Korea where it was highly praised.
Amazon.com had the following to say:
"A best-seller in North Korea, where Paek continues to live and write, Friend illuminates a side of life in the DPRK that Western readers have never before encountered. Far from being a propagandistic screed in praise of the Great Leader, Friend describes the lives of people who struggle with everyday problems such as marital woes and workplace conflicts. Instead of socialist-realist stock figures, Paek depicts complex characters who wrestle with universal questions of individual identity, the split between public and private selves, the unpredictability of existence, and the never-ending labor of maintaining a relationship"; "...a page-turner full of psychological tension as well as a revealing portrait of a society that is typically seen as closed to the outside world."
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