Monday, 30 April 2018

Bandi "The Accusation"


Bandi (반디) "The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea" (고발/Gobal) - 2014

Seven short stories tell us about the life in North Korea. Seven individual stories about seven people and their families. We can imagine that life in such a closed-off dictatorship cannot be easy but the author gives us a good view over people in different kind of situations. And the conditions are just horrible for everyone.

A very impressive book. A highly important book. I am not a fan of short stories usually but this is definitely worth reading. Both the author and the person who smuggled the notes out of the country risked their lives to bring it to us, we should not disappoint them.

From the back cover:

"In 1989, a North Korean dissident writer, known to us only by the pseudonym Bandi, began to write a series of stories about life under Kim Il-sung's totalitarian regime. Smuggled out of North Korea and set for publication around the world in 2017, The Accusation provides a unique and shocking window on this most secretive of countries. Bandi's profound, deeply moving, vividly characterised stories tell of ordinary men and women facing the terrible absurdity of daily life in North Korea: a factory supervisor caught between loyalty to an old friend and loyalty to the Party; a woman struggling to feed her husband through the great famine; the staunch Party man whose actor son reveals to him the absurd theatre of their reality; the mother raising her child in a world where the all-pervasive propaganda is the very stuff of childhood nightmare. The Accusation is a heartbreaking portrayal of the realities of life in North Korea. It is also a reminder that humanity can sustain hope even in the most desperate of circumstances - and that the courage of free thought has a power far beyond those seek to suppress it."

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