How I Became a North Korean

Krys Lee
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ISBN 9780571276233 Format Paperback
Published 03/08/2017 Length 256 pages

About Book

At the lawless border between North Korea and China, three young lives converge in the hope of a better future.

Yongju is an accomplished student from a prominent but recently disgraced family; Jangmi has had to fend for herself since childhood, and now has her unborn child to protect; Danny is a Chinese-American teenager who yearns for the China of his childhood. But danger is everywhere: government informants, thieves, people smugglers, abductors and even missionaries are a threat. As the three form an adopted family in the struggle to survive, will they reach the safety and freedom that China seems to offer?

Inspired by the author’s own experiences while working in the border area, How I Became a North Korean is a powerful story of peril and hope.

  • About Krys Lee

    Krys Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in California and Washington, and studied in the United States and England. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, Granta Online, The New Statesman, The Kenyon Review, Narrative Magazine, California Quarterly and Asia Weekly. She divides her time between South Korea and the United States. Find out more on or follow her on Twitter @krysleewriter.

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