Suki Kim biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Suki Kim
Photo © Ed Kashi / VII

Suki Kim

Suki Kim Biography

Suki Kim is the author of the award-winning novel The Interpreter and the recipient of Guggenheim, Fulbright, and Open Society fellowships. She has been traveling to North Korea as a journalist since 2002, and her essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Harper's, and the New York Review of Books. Born and raised in Seoul, she lives in New York.

Suki Kim's website

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Interview

Suki Kim talks about her book Without You There Is No Us, why she loved her North Korean students and what she feared the most during her brief time in the country.

In 2011 you traveled to North Korea to teach at a school staffed entirely by foreigners and kept notes secretly the entire time. If your notes had been discovered, you could have been deported, or even imprisoned. What made you willing to take that risk?

I've been obsessed with North Korea all my life. I was born and raised in South Korea and immigrated to the U.S. when I was 13 years old. Members of both sides of my family were taken to North Korea during the Korean War and never seen again. Beginning in 2002, I traveled there to report stories for various magazines. When I learned about PUST (Pyongyang University of Science & Technology), a university staffed only by foreigners, I realized this could be an unusual opportunity to get behind the curtain, and I applied for a job there.

My goal was to write a book that humanizes North Koreans. I wanted to go beyond the almost comic images of the Great Leader—of a crazy man with a funny hairdo and outfits, whose hobby is threatening nuclear war. The truth is so much more dire and frightening. I wanted to help outsiders see North Koreans as real people, as people we can relate to, so that we can begin to care about what happens to them. That was my goal and it seemed ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Suki Kim at BookBrowse
Without You, There Is No Us jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Suki Kim but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Leslie T. Chang

    Leslie T. Chang

    Leslie T. Chang lived in China for a decade as a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, specializing in stories that explored how socioeconomic change is transforming institutions and individuals. She has also written for... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Without You, There Is No Us

    Try:
    Factory Girls
    by Leslie T. Chang

  • Catherine Chung

    Catherine Chung

    Catherine Chung was born in Evanston, IL during a furious blizzard that dropped over 20 inches of snow on the ground and wreaked havoc all over Chicago. Writing has been her life-long passion, but as an undergraduate she ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Without You, There Is No Us

    Try:
    Forgotten Country
    by Catherine Chung

We recommend 7 similar authors

View all 7 Readalikes

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