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4.0 

The Accusation

By Bandi & Deborah Smith
The Accusation by Bandi & Deborah Smith digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

A PEN Translates Award-winning collection of short stories about life in North Korea under Kim Jong-Il, written in secret by a dissident author.

The Accusation is a revelatory work of fiction that exposes the truth of the North Korean regime. Set during the period of Kim Jong-Il’s leadership, the seven stories that make up The Accusation throw light on different aspects of life in this most bizarre and horrifying of dictatorships.

One story, “Life of a Swift Seed,” tells of a war hero and former ardent Communist who plants an elm tree in his back garden to commemorate one of his brothers-in-arms. When the tree is to be cut down to make way for a power line, the man is ready to defend it with his life, leaving a family friend to decide whether to intercede. In another story, “City of Specters,” a Pyongyang mother’s young son misbehaves during a party rally, crying out when he sees a portrait of Karl Marx, whom he thinks is a monster of Korean myth known as the Eobi. In one other story, a mother attempts to feed her husband during the worst years of North Korea’s famine, and in another, a woman in a perilous situation meets the Dear Leader himself.

As a whole, The Accusation is a vivid and frightening portrait of what it means to live in a completely closed-off society, and a heartbreaking yet hopeful portrayal of the humanity that persists even in such dire circumstances.

“Searing fiction by an anonymous dissident . . . A fierce indictment of life in the totalitarian North.”—New York Times

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49 Reviews

4.0
Thinking Face
Diverse charactersMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenDescriptive writingOriginal writingSuspensefulUnpredictableRealistic settingThought-provoking
Loudly Crying Face“It is because of this book club that I read things like this and I am so thankful. Heartbreaking and absolutely enthralling.”
Believable charactersBeautifully writtenDescriptive writing
Loudly Crying Face“So immersive, so captivating, so heartbreaking, beautiful writing”
Believable charactersMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenDescriptive writingEasy to readFast-pacedImmersive settingDarkHeartbreakingThought-provoking

About Bandi

Bandi, a name derived from the Korean for “firefly,” is a pseudonym for a writer who is still living in his homeland of North Korea. The Accusation is his only published book to date. Deborah Smith is the Man Booker International Prize–winning translator of The Vegetarian by Han Kang and other books.

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