A collection of searing and heart-wrenching stories by an anonymous North Korean writer who is still living in North Korea and whose manuscript was smuggled out to be published abroadthe first piece of dissident fiction to ever come out of the country
978-0-8021-2620-7 • $25.00 • Forthcoming in Cloth • Mar. 2017
The Accusation is a deeply moving and eye-opening piece 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 the tale 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. A family friend who works at a nearby factory must decide whether he will intercede on this man’s behalf when the tree is to be cut down to make way for a new power line and the war hero is prepared to defend it with his life. 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.