Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea


Product Details

$20.00  $18.60
Random House
Publish Date
5.1 X 8.0 X 0.7 inches | 0.55 pounds

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About the Author

Barbara Demick is the author of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award and the winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize in the United Kingdom, and Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood. Her books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages. Demick is a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and a contributor to The New Yorker, and was recently a press fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.


"Provocative . . . offers extensive evidence of the author's deep knowledge of this country while keeping its sights firmly on individual stories and human details."--The New York Times

"Deeply moving . . . The personal stories are related with novelistic detail."--The Wall Street Journal

"Excellent . . . humanizes a downtrodden, long-suffering people whose individual lives, hopes and dreams are so little known abroad."--San Francisco Chronicle

"The narrow boundaries of our knowledge have expanded radically with the publication of Nothing to Envy. . . . Elegantly structured and written, [it] is a groundbreaking work of literary nonfiction."--Slate

"At times a page-turner, at others an intimate study in totalitarian psychology."--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Haunting . . . a clear-eyed and deeply reported look at [North Korea]."--The Plain Dealer

"Nothing to Envy must do what journalism hasn't been required to do for nearly a century: use words to create pictures of scenes that cannot be captured by a camera. With an eloquence seldom found in newspaper journalists, Demick has risen to the occasion--all the more remarkable when you consider that she hasn't seen these sights herself. She has a novelist's knack for eliciting the telling detail."--Salon

"In a stunning work of investigation, Barbara Demick removes North Korea's mask to reveal what lies beneath its media censorship and repressive dictatorship."--The Daily Beast

"No writer I know has done a better job of clothing these academic concerns with the rich detail of the lives of ordinary people--explaining, simply, what it feels like to be a citizen of the cruelest, most repressive and most retrograde country in the world. . . . [An] outstanding work of journalism."--The Times (London)

"These are the stories you'll never hear from North Korea's state news agency."--New York Post

"[A] superbly reported account of life in North Korea.''--Bloomberg

"[Nothing to Envy] has the ring of authority as well as the suspense of a novel."--The Washington Times

"The last time I read a book with something truly harrowing or pitiful or sad on every page it was Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and those characters had the good fortune to not be real."--St. Louis Magazine

"Strongly written and gracefully structured, Demick's potent blend of personal narratives and piercing journalism vividly and evocatively portrays courageous individuals and a tyrannized state."--Booklist (starred review)

"A fascinating and deeply personal look at the lives of six defectors from the repressive totalitarian regime of the Republic of North Korea . . . As Demick weaves [the defectors'] stories together with the hidden history of the country's descent into chaos, she skillfully re-creates these captivating and moving personal journeys."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)