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Given the frequent news coverage of and recent turmoil in North Korea, it seems appropriate that this 2009 book is made (almost) required reading for incoming freshmen. It stands up well to previous picks that included A Thousand Splendid Suns and Zeitoun.
This work of narrative nonfiction reconstructs the lives of six North Korean defectors in the 1990s, focusing on the 15 years that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the rise of Kim Jong-il and a devastating famine that killed nearly one million North Koreans.
Demick is a journalist who has won multiple awards for her work in Seoul, including the Overseas Press Club award for human rights reporting. Her second novel has received numerous accolades and was both a National Book Award finalist and National Book Critics Circle finalist.
The MU Bookstore is selling the 2012 pick throughout the summer and will host an on-campus lecture that will be open to the public.
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