Have a Gift or Promo Code? Get Started
Price:

$24.00

Get for Free with Membership

Without You, There Is No Us

My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite

By Suki Kim
Narrated by Janet Song / 8 hours 33 minutes

A haunting account of teaching English to the sons of North Korea's ruling class during the last six months of Kim Jong-il's reign

Every day, three times a day, the students march in two straight lines, singing praises to Kim Jong-il and North Korea: Without you, there is no motherland. Without you, there is no us. It is a chilling scene, but gradually Suki Kim, too, learns the tune and, without noticing, begins to hum it. It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, the students sent to construction fields—except for the 270 students at the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), a walled compound where portraits of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il look on impassively from the walls of every room, and where Suki has gone undercover as a missionary and a teacher. Over the next six months, she will eat three meals a day with her young charges and struggle to teach them English, all under the watchful eye of the regime.

Life at PUST is lonely and claustrophobic, especially for Suki, whose letters are read by censors and who must hide her notes and photographs not only from her minders but from her colleagues—evangelical Christian missionaries who don't know or choose to ignore that Suki doesn't share their faith. As the weeks pass, she is mystified by how easily her students lie, unnerved by their obedience to the regime. At the same time, they offer Suki tantalizing glimpses of their private selves—their boyish enthusiasm, their eagerness to please, the flashes of curiosity that have not yet been extinguished. She in turn begins to hint at the existence of a world beyond their own—at such exotic activities as surfing the Internet or traveling freely and, more dangerously, at electoral democracy and other ideas forbidden in a country where defectors risk torture and execution. But when Kim Jong-il dies, and the boys she has come to love appear devastated, she wonders whether the gulf between her world and theirs can ever be bridged.

Without You, There Is No Us offers a moving and incalculably rare glimpse of life in the world's most unknowable country, and at the privileged young men she calls "soldiers and slaves."

  Add to Your Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save books to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log In       Create Account
Gift

Gift Audiobook Memberships

You pick the duration—1, 3, 6, or 12 months—they pick the audiobooks. Buying gifts from Brookline Booksmith has never been so easy.

Gift Now
 

Author
Narrator Janet Song
ISBN 9781101912751
Length 8 hours 33 minutes
Language English
Publisher Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication Date
Edition Unabridged
Libro.fm Rank #7,856 Overall
Genre Rank #625 in History
 
Brookline Booksmith Brookline Booksmith is proud to partner with Libro.fm to give you a great audiobook experience. Learn More

Share this page!

Link too long? Use a URL Shortener