The Accusation-forbidden stories from inside North Korea:
“We will worship the Great Leader until the sun and moon go out”
Billed as the first piece of regime critical fiction from within North Korea by a dissident writer (the only hitherto examples of such documentation being from successful defectors), The Accusation encompasses seven separate stories that have been smuggled out to the world at large & found their way to print.
The author, for obvious reasons is incognito, going only under the pseudonym “Bandi” (firefly). Why fiction? Does it matter? I will assume that the danger of identification (for the author as well as subjects) plays a role if not the deciding feature. I almost never read fiction, but this was required (& in all honesty I think I finished the book under the misplaced impression that it was all literal until the epilogue). Having a long streak of books on North Korea (the majority recollections penned by North Korean defectors) this was yet more important reading on the country & experiences of its people. I must confess that I did not find this book among the most engaging among them, although the divulgences herein & further descriptions & information are obviously of great importance. The fictional structure also seems an odd anecdote. But I ain’t lived in North Korea, so who the fuck am I to say? (the rumors are false, I have never been there). The Aquariums of Pyongyang by Kang Chol-Hwan remains the most potent for me along with This is Paradise! by Hyok Kang & Yeonmi Park’s In Order to Live. Shin Dong Hyuk’s account in Escape From Camp 14 is also an essential piece of reading. Not wanting to detract from The Accusation’s value or the courage of it’s author.
“In all of creation, the rule is that the more toxic something is, the more pretty and friendly it’s made to look.”
2017 – Bandi – Serpents Tale – 241 pages