July 09, 2020

Author Kim felt close, yet distant to N. Korean students
Novelist-turned-nonfiction author strove to create real, human portrayal of PUST students

Novelist and nonfiction author Suki Kim chronicled her experiences in North Korea for her new book because she felt like people needed to see a more realistic, more humanized portrait of North Korea, she told the NK News Podcast.

Even though Kim has traveled to North Korea for writing assignments in the past – for the 60th birthday of Kim Jong Il in 2002 and with the New York Philharmonic during their visit to Pyongyang in 2008 – she was permitted to go into the North in 2011 as an English teacher for the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST). Based on these experiences, she wrote her nonfiction work Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite, released earlier this month.