The Accusation is thought to be the first fiction published abroad by someone still living in North Korea. In fact, this is the only fiction we found written by a North Korean author period. Smuggled out of the country in 2013, this work of fiction is a dystopian thriller. But the book is no fantasy. It’s the reality for 25 million people living out unparalleled human rights abuses in North Korea today.
"The Accusation is a deeply moving and eye-opening work of fiction that paints a powerful portrait of life under the North Korean regime. Set during the period of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il’s leadership, the seven stories that make up The Accusation give voice to people living under this most bizarre and horrifying of dictatorships. The characters of these compelling stories come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from a young mother living among the elite in Pyongyang whose son misbehaves during a political rally, to a former Communist war hero who is deeply disillusioned with the intrusion of the Party into everything he holds dear, to a husband and father who is denied a travel permit and sneaks onto a train in order to visit his critically ill mother. Written with deep emotion and writing talent, The Accusation is a vivid depiction of life in a closed-off one-party state, and also a hopeful testament to the humanity and rich internal life that persists even in such inhumane conditions."
Note: The author of this book is anonymous, but it's believed that he was born in China. Usually, the author's birth in another country would exclude this book from our list of North Korean suggestions. We made an exception because:
1. This work of fiction is unique & we found no other genres aside from memoirs.
2. The author was born of North Korean parents.
3. It seems likely that the author moved to North Korea as a baby.
A special thank you to book club member, Aisha Esbhani for the suggestion and Yeonsang Cho, who lives in South Korea, for her impassioned plea to include this important work.