Barbara Demick

Barbara Demick is an American journalist. She is Beijing bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times. She is the author of Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood. Her second book, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, was published by Spiegel & Grau/Random House in December 2009 and Granta Books in 2010. An animated feature film based on the book and sharing the same title will be directed by Andy Glynne.
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An eye-opening account of life inside North Korea—a closed world of increasing global importance—hailed as a “tour de force of meticulous reporting” (The New York Review of Books)
 
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST
 
In this landmark addition to the literature of totalitarianism, award-winning journalist Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Korean citizens over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il (the father of Kim Jong-un), and a devastating famine that killed one-fifth of the population.
 
Demick brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive regime today—an Orwellian world that is by choice not connected to the Internet, where displays of affection are punished, informants are rewarded, and an offhand remark can send a person to the gulag for life. She takes us deep inside the country, beyond the reach of government censors, and through meticulous and sensitive reporting we see her subjects fall in love, raise families, nurture ambitions, and struggle for survival. One by one, we witness their profound, life-altering disillusionment with the government and their realization that, rather than providing them with lives of abundance, their country has betrayed them.

Praise for Nothing to Envy

“Provocative . . . offers extensive evidence of the author’s deep knowledge of this country while keeping its sights firmly on individual stories and human details.”—The New York Times

“Deeply moving . . . The personal stories are related with novelistic detail.”—The Wall Street Journal

“A tour de force of meticulous reporting.”—The New York Review of Books

“Excellent . . . humanizes a downtrodden, long-suffering people whose individual lives, hopes and dreams are so little known abroad.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“The narrow boundaries of our knowledge have expanded radically with the publication of Nothing to Envy. . . . Elegantly structured and written, [it] is a groundbreaking work of literary nonfiction.”—John Delury, Slate

“At times a page-turner, at others an intimate study in totalitarian psychology.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
 ◆亞馬遜讀者五星書評,授權多國語言出版,中文版銷售突破10萬冊!

◆增訂版收錄芭芭拉.德米克新寫的長篇後記:金正日辭世後,北韓依舊是兩千三百萬人民的牢籠,近萬字的內容解析金正恩如何以全世界最年輕的國家元首之姿,鞏固看似垂危的政權,並補述六名脫北者的生活現況。

◆榮獲「2010年英國年度圖書獎」

◆入選「2011年美國國家書卷獎非文學決選作品」


《我們最幸福》是描寫朝鮮生活最好的一部作品!——英國圖書獎評委

芭芭拉.德米克用一種引人注目,而又讓人難忘的方式為人們展示出

這個封閉的國家,其實就是喬治.歐威爾《1984》的現實版


朝鮮向來是個外人難以深入、臆測的一個祕密國度。

夜空中,整個朝鮮地區都是黑的,那黑暗訴說著人民深不可測的痛苦,

有時卻又穿插著零星微弱的希望曙光……


與燈光閃耀的南韓相比,北韓好似黑夜與白晝。在這裡,飢荒奪去了數百萬人的性命,製造和貿易幾乎停止,經濟崩潰,醫療機制失敗,人們習慣行走在要跨越屍體倒臥的街頭。


朝鮮曾遭受兩次悲劇。第一次是朝鮮半島分裂的二戰結束時,史達林扶植金正日作為蘇聯在朝鮮的代理人;第二次悲劇是蘇聯的崩潰。在後蘇聯時代,朝鮮遭受電力、自來水和食物短缺之苦,金日成和金正日藉機創造了個人崇拜的一種痴迷的支持,自我監督的社會。本書透過生動地描寫六個勇敢脫北者的悲哀生命,投射出現實生活中集權主義的本質。


《我們最幸福》作為一個故事確實引人入勝,但實質上則是一種政治信息的描述:看這個極權主義鎮壓下,可怕的朝鮮共和國是如何成功地讓人民對外部世界完全一無所悉,以及他們如何避免內部政權垮台?其中究竟暗藏了什麼樣的詭計?


從六名平凡百姓的生活中,我們對北韓有了超乎以往的認識。

《我們最幸福》追溯六名北韓人超過十五年來的生活——在這長達十五年以上的混亂時代裡,他們遭遇金日成去世,他的兒子金正日在無人挑戰下接掌大權,以及蔓延全國的大饑荒,這場災難奪去全國五分之一人口的性命。


獲獎新聞工作者芭芭拉.德米克帶領我們進入一個過去從未見過的國度,她讓我們深刻體會到,生活在今日最壓迫的極權主義政權下會是什麼感受——這是個歐威爾筆下的世界,沒有網路,廣播與電視選臺鈕全固定在政府頻道上,就連表露情感也會遭到懲罰;在這個警察國家裡,告密者受到獎賞,而無心的言論很可能讓人終生監禁於古拉格。


德米克帶領我們穿過政府的重重檢查,進入到北韓深處。從謹慎而敏銳的報導中,我們看到她的六名主角——他們全是尋常的北韓平民——戀愛、養家活口、懷抱野心,以及努力求生。然後,一個接一個,他們終於發現自己被政府背叛,而我們全程參與了他們的心路歷程。


《我們最幸福》是極權主義文獻的開創之作,它讓我們有機會一窺這個逐漸具有全球重要性的封閉國度。


出版社 麥田(城邦)

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