Novel: North Korea

#Empathy4NKoreanPeople 

Posted by on Nov 11, 2017 in Novel: North Korea, Novel: Tools for Educators | Comments Off on #Empathy4NKoreanPeople 

On considering the humanity of the people of North Korea:

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October 24 Event: “North Korea: The Stories Behind the Conflict”

Posted by on Sep 7, 2017 in Novel: In the Shadow of the Sun, Novel: North Korea, On Events & Presentations  | Comments Off on October 24 Event: “North Korea: The Stories Behind the Conflict”

Date: Tuesday, October 24 – 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Location: Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library, Portland, Maine

Audience: Adults, Teens

North Korea: The Stories Behind the Conflict

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“To Recognize the Humanity of the Other”: Korean Consulate Book Talk

Posted by on Sep 7, 2017 in Author's Korean Connections, Novel: In the Shadow of the Sun, Novel: North Korea, On Events & Presentations  | Comments Off on “To Recognize the Humanity of the Other”: Korean Consulate Book Talk

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On Thursday, August 24, Consular General Song Jun Ohm hosted a Book Talk featuring In the Shadow of the Sun, at the Korean Consulate in Newton, MassachusettsAn audience representing the Korean American community of Boston, including academics, activists, business people, policy analysts, and others with deep interest in North Korea, were invited to share their expertise and reflections. In his opening remarks, Consul General Ohm said,

As a diplomat, my interest in [Anne’s] novel is about the promotion of understanding Korea and North Korea among Americans… Questions arise such as why North Korea is obsessed with nuclear weapon; why North Korea is attempting to make threats directly to the United States; what is the origin of North Korean hostility to the United States, etc.

I suggest that we need to see the North Korean people as human beings and see them differently and separate from the dictator and his subordinates. This novel provides me with the new and fresh perspective, because South Koreans also need to understand North Koreans better, and that will be possible when they meet by people to people, not when they see solely through news media or official channel.

I gave a short talk about my childhood in South Korea, the inspiration for the novel, the process of writing it, and the ways in which empathy for the people of North Korea gradually became my focus. Wellesley English professor Yu Jin Ko and Reverend Sung-hyuk Kim followed with reflections on themes in the novel, with Professor Ko emphasizing that “to recognize the humanity of the other” must be the basis for reunification. Audience members responded with their own observations on the importance of a “human-centric” approach to North Korea.

I was deeply honored and humbled by the event, and felt buoyed by the foundation of guidance and support as I communicate the themes of the novel to a wider audience.

BostonKorea.com wrote about the event here.

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Research & Process: Arirang Mass Games

Posted by on Jan 22, 2017 in Novel: In the Shadow of the Sun, Novel: North Korea, Novel: Research & Process | Comments Off on Research & Process: Arirang Mass Games


 
I have attempted to present the realities of life in current-day North Korea as accurately as possible based on the present available information. (By the time the book is in print, some of what I have written may already be outdated.)

But I have also made a few decisions in service of my story. For instance, the Arirang Mass Games have not been held since 2013, but I included a performance here, because the scale, organization, and presentation of the event is a uniquely and definitively North Korean phenomenon.

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Readers & Educators: Tracing the Journey

Posted by on Jan 22, 2017 in Novel: In the Shadow of the Sun, Novel: North Korea, Novel: Research & Process, Novel: Tools for Educators | Comments Off on Readers & Educators: Tracing the Journey

Plotting IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN with Google Earth Maps

It’s possible to trace Mia and Simon’s entire journey in In the Shadow of the Sun.

I plotted it on Google Earth as I was researching and writing it.

Note that  I did add the stairs down which they escape at Mangyongdae, and the park along the river in Sinuiju.

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Glimpse of North Korea

Posted by on Jan 22, 2017 in Novel: In the Shadow of the Sun, Novel: North Korea, Novel: Research & Process | Comments Off on Glimpse of North Korea

While I was writing In the Shadow of the Sun, I traveled to Dandong, China, where I was thrilled to discover that my hotel room window faced the Yalu River with a view of the city of Sinuiju.

I took a motorboat ride through the waters that separate the two countries, and traced my charcaters, Mia
and Simon’s steps up a section of the Tiger Mountain Great Wall.  There, I sat and gazed at “One-Step Crossing” and the North Korean countryside.

Read the post I wrote about that trip.

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