Vacation

by Deb Olin Unferth (Author)

A PEN Translates Award-winning collection of short stories about life in North Korea under Kim Jong-Il, written in secret by a dissident author.

The Accusation is a revelatory work of fiction that exposes the truth of the North Korean regime. Set during the period of Kim Jong-Il?s leadership, the seven stories that make up The Accusation throw light on different aspects of life in this most bizarre and horrifying of dictatorships.

One story, ?Life of a Swift Seed,? tells of a war hero and former ardent Communist who plants an elm tree in his back garden to commemorate one of his brothers-in-arms. When the tree is to be cut down to make way for a power line, the man is ready to defend it with his life, leaving a family friend to decide whether to intercede. In another story, ?City of Specters,? a Pyongyang mother?s young son misbehaves during a party rally, crying out when he sees a portrait of Karl Marx, whom he thinks is a monster of Korean myth known as the Eobi. In one other story, a mother attempts to feed her husband during the worst years of North Korea?s famine, and in another, a woman in a perilous situation meets the Dear Leader himself.

As a whole, The Accusation is a vivid and frightening portrait of what it means to live in a completely closed-off society, and a heartbreaking yet hopeful portrayal of the humanity that persists even in such dire circumstances.

?Searing fiction by an anonymous dissident . . . A fierce indictment of life in the totalitarian North.??New York Times

Book details

Publication date
March 22, 2010
Publisher
Page count
240
ISBN
9780802197870