After an hour or two of such conversation, we veered into what might be disparaged as typical girl talk. There was something about Mi- ran's self-possession and her candor that allowed me to ask more personal questions. What did young North Koreans do for fun? Were there any happy moments in her life in North Korea? Did she have a boyfriend there?
"It's funny you ask," she said. "I had a dream about him the other night."
She described the boy as tall and limber with shaggy hair flopping over his forehead. After she got out of North Korea, she was delighted to discover that there was a South Korean teen idol by the name of Yu Jun-sang who looked quite like her ex-boyfriend. (As a result, I have used the pseudonym Jun-sang to identify him.) He was smart, too, a future scientist studying at one of the best universities in Pyongyang. That was one of the reasons they could not be seen in public. Their relationship could have damaged his career prospects.
There are no love hotels in North Korea. Casual intimacy between the sexes is discouraged. Still, I tried to pry gently about how far the relationship went.
Excerpted from Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick Copyright © 2009 by Barbara Demick. Excerpted by permission of Spiegel & Grau, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Become a Member
and discover your next great read!
There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are either well written or badly written. That is all.
Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!
The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.