Book about North Korean wins UK non-fiction award

13:27, July 05, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

A book about people living in secretive North Korea won the 20,000 pound ($30,000) BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction on Thursday.

Los Angeles Times journalist Barbara Demick based "Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea" on extensive interviews with defectors from the Communist state.

"Demick shows in a compelling and unforgettable way that this hermetic country is Orwell's '1984' made reality," the judges said in a statement.

The author follows the lives of six North Korean citizens including two lovers who dated secretly for a decade and yet feared to criticize the regime to each other for fear of being turned in to the authorities.

"In the totalitarian regime where they lived, all radio and television broadcasts are government sponsored; 'Gone With the Wind' is a dangerous, banned book and during political rallies, spies study your expression to check your sincerity," the statement added.

Demick beat out Jenny Uglow's "A Gambling Man," a biography of England's 17th century King Charles II, "Blood Knots," Luke Jennings' account of learning how to fish and "Too Big to Fail," Andrew Ross Sorkin's account of the financial crisis.

Also on the shortlist of six books was "Alex's Adventures in Numberland" by Alex Bellos, about how mathematical ideas underpin just about every aspect of our lives, and Richard Wrangham's "Catching Fire: How Cooking made us Human."

Source: China Daily/Agencies

(Editor:王寒露)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • On Sept. 28, tourists travel around the Mingshashan Scenic Area in Dunhuang, Gansu province by camel. With the National Day vacation right around the corner, more and more tourists from home and abroad are going to Dunhuang. Riding on a camel, they travel in the desert to enjoy the cities rare form of natural scenery. (Xinhua/Zhang Weixian)
  • Chinese forest armed forces work together with forest firefighters on Sept. 28. (Xinhua/Chai Liren)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows strong wind blows trees in Sanya, south China's Hainan Province. Typhoon Nesat heads towards south China and is moving at an average wind speed of 20 km per hour toward the west coast of China's Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Hou Jiansen)
  • A fallen tree is seen on a road in Qionghai, south China's Hainan Province, Sept. 29, 2011. Typhoon Nesat was predicted to land in Hainan later Thursday, bringing heavy rainfalls to the island. (Xinhua/Meng Zhongde)
  • Arash Kamalvand (L) of Iran spikes the ball during the semifinal against South Korea at the 16th Asian Men's Volleyball Championship in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 28, 2011. Iran won 3-1 to advance to the final. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)
  • A man visits "Thy Word Is Truth, the Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Protestant Church in China", during its opening at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church in Washington DC, capital of the United States, Sept. 28, 2011. Through the Bible's various Chinese versions, ancient or modern, as well as pictures, paintings, calligraphy, art works and historical documents, the exhibition was expected to give an overall understanding of how Bible was brought into China, how it was translated, published, distributed and loved. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)
Hot Forum Discussion