Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea is a 2009 part-novelization of interviews with refugees from Chongjin, North Korea, written by Los Angeles Times journalist Barbara Demick. In 2010, the book was awarded the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. It was also a nonfiction finalist for the National Book Award in 2010. The title comes from the children's theme song of the 1970 North Korean film We Have Nothing to Envy in the World (Korean: 세상에 부럼 없어라; RR: Sesang-e burom opsora).Demick interviewed more than 100 defectors and chose to focus on Chongjin because it is likely to be more representative than the capital Pyongyang. Demick briefly discusses the examination of one of the female characters into a position of Kippumjo. The events covered include the famine of the 1990s, with the final chapters describing the route the main characters took to Seoul and then an epilogue describing the effects of the November 30, 2009 currency reform.