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The Girl with Seven Names: Escape from North…
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The Girl with Seven Names: Escape from North Korea (original 2015; edição 2016)

por Hyeonseo Lee (Autor), David John (Primary Contributor)

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6403327,848 (4.24)42
In 1997 the author, aged 17, escaped North Korea for China. Her mother's first words over the telephone to her lost daughter were "don't come back". The reprisals for all of them would have been lethal. Twelve years later she returned to the North Korean border in a daring mission to spirit her mother and brother to South Korea in a very costly and dangerous journey. This eloquent book offers the first credible account of ordinary life in North Korea and gives an extraordinary insight into the life under one of the world's most ruthless and secretive dictatorships.… (mais)
Membro:LaMill29
Título:The Girl with Seven Names: Escape from North Korea
Autores:Hyeonseo Lee (Autor)
Outros autores:David John (Primary Contributor)
Informação:William Collins (2016), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:*****
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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The Girl with Seven Names por Hyeonseo Lee (2015)

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Kitabı okurken, Kuzey Kore gerçekleri kimi zaman inanılmayacak kadar şok edici olsa da zamanla şaşırmamaya başladığınızı fark ediyorsunuz. Kuzey Kore'den kaçıp legal bir kimlik bulmaya çalışan Hyeonseo Lee'nin mücadele dolu hayatını anlatıyor kitap. İyi ki denk geldim diye düşündüğüm kitaplardan. Kesinlikle okumalısınız. ( )
  SultanNurK_Gucuk | Aug 11, 2021 |
A memoir by a North Korean defector that tells the story of her initial escape from North Korea into China at the age of 17, her subsequent life in China hiding her identity, and her eventual move to South Korea and journey back to the border to get her mother and brother out of North Korea. The story was honest and fascinating. I was struck, as I often am, by how, as bad as things were for Hyeonseo, she only got as far as she did with the significant help of luck and privelege. I was also struck by the ordinary moments of humanity, friendship, love and teasing in North Korea. I think we are so used to viewing North Korea as an impenetrable fortress that we forget about the humanity of it. ( )
  dafnab | Jul 7, 2021 |
Hyeonseo Lee grew up in a fairly privileged family in North Korea and was semi-insulated from the horrors of the North Korean regime. Although she witnessed a hanging and saw some effects of the famine while travelling to visit relatives, she was preoccupied with dancing to illegal South Korean pop music and wearing foreign clothes to school rather than her uniform. Because her family lived on a border town, her mother made some extra money smuggling Chinese goods and her brother played with Chinese boys on both sides of the river separating the two countries. She decides that she too wants to experience the excitement of crossing into China before she turns eighteen and is no longer protected by being a minor. So without telling her mother, she heads out for some adventure.

Thus begins Lee′s life as a defector. After a couple of close calls with human traffickers and a Chinese gang, she settles down in Shanghai into a comfortable life translating for South Korean executives. One day she boards a plane for Seoul with her Samsonite luggage and seeks asylum. A few years later she arranges to bring her mother and brother to Seoul as well. They have a much more harrowing, and seemingly more typical, experience. But thanks to a wealthy stranger, they too make it to South Korea.

Lee′s story is smoothly told, and she is clearly intelligent as well as lucky. She has become a voice for North Korean defectors, has spoken at the UN on human rights abuses, and given a TED talk. But despite its polish, or perhaps because of it, I found myself questioning parts of her narrative. Compared to the memoirs of other North Korean defectors, her experience does not appear to be the norm. Interested readers might also check out [Nothing to Envy] which relies on interviews with dozens of North Korean defectors. ( )
  labfs39 | Apr 10, 2021 |
Another story of North Korea which is adding to information about this little known country. The story is quite extraordinary. She kind of just slipped away. A young girl she already was strong and aware and was able to survive. Read for bookclub, March 2021. ( )
  Kristelh | Mar 25, 2021 |
An astounding memoir of a woman who crossed the border from North Korea to China at seventeen, intending to return, but found herself stuck, separated from her mother and brother. She survived on her own, spending many years in China before eventually making her way to South Korea, and finally convincing her mother and brother to join her - an arduous, dangerous journey, full of twists of good and bad fortune - but ultimately, with the help of a kind stranger, the family members were reunited.

Quotes

The irony was that the new communist state had created a social hierarchy [songbun] more elaborate and stratified than anything seen in the time of the feudal emperors. (6)

One of the tragedies of North Korea is that everyone wears a mask, which they let slip at their peril. (20)

Kindness toward strangers is rare in North Korea. There is risk in helping others. The irony was that by forcing us to be good citizens, the state made accusers and informers of us all. (38)

...every child learned to subordinate their will to that of the collective...mass games helped to suppress individual thought. (51)

I had believed [the Chinese were worse off than North Koreans] for years, even though evidence to the contrary was everywhere before my eyes... (90)

My curiosity had always been greater than my fear - not a good trait to have in North Korea, where fear keeps your sense sharp and helps you stay alive. (91)

In truth there is no dividing line between cruel leaders and oppressed citizens. The Kims rule by making everyone complicit in a brutal system, implicating all, from the highest to the lowest, blurring morals so that no one is blameless. (150)

...the two Koreas had diverged into two quite separate cultures.....We were no longer the same people. (213)

...such generosity wasn't easy to accept. It involved a loss of control. All I could do was say thank you. (261)

One of the main reasons that distinctions between oppressor and victim are blurred in North Korea is that no one there has any concept of rights. To know that your rights are being abused, or that you are abusing someone else's, you first have to know that you have them, and what they are. (288)

Dictatorships may seem strong and unified, but they are always weaker than they appear. They are governed by the whim of one man, who can't draw upon a wealth of discussion and debate, as democracies can, because he rules through terror and the only truth permitted is his own. (290) ( )
  JennyArch | Dec 8, 2020 |
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Wikipédia em inglês (1)

In 1997 the author, aged 17, escaped North Korea for China. Her mother's first words over the telephone to her lost daughter were "don't come back". The reprisals for all of them would have been lethal. Twelve years later she returned to the North Korean border in a daring mission to spirit her mother and brother to South Korea in a very costly and dangerous journey. This eloquent book offers the first credible account of ordinary life in North Korea and gives an extraordinary insight into the life under one of the world's most ruthless and secretive dictatorships.

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