The Accusation by Bandi
Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea

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With these uncompromising stories, the pseudonymous Bandi gives a rare glimpse of life in the “truly fathomless darkness” of North Korea.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

The Accusation is a deeply moving and eye-opening work of fiction that paints a powerful portrait of life under the North Korean regime. Set during the period of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il’s leadership, the seven stories that make up The Accusation give voice to people living under this most bizarre and horrifying of dictatorships. The characters of these compelling stories come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from a young mother living among the elite in Pyongyang whose son misbehaves during a political rally, to a former Communist war hero who is deeply disillusioned with the intrusion of the Party into everything he holds dear, to a husband and father who is denied a travel permit and sneaks onto a train in order to visit his critically ill mother. Written with deep emotion and writing talent, The Accusation is a vivid depiction of life in a closed-off one-party state, and also a hopeful testament to the humanity and rich internal life that persists even in such inhumane conditions.
 

About Bandi

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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.
 
Published March 7, 2017 by Grove Press. 288 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Accusation
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Dec 26 2016

Of more journalistic and sociological than literary interest, without the inventiveness of recent writing south of the 38th parallel—but still an important document of witness.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Sep 14 2017

With these uncompromising stories, the pseudonymous Bandi gives a rare glimpse of life in the “truly fathomless darkness” of North Korea.

Read Full Review of The Accusation: Forbidden Sto... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Evan Ramstad on Apr 04 2017

Deborah Smith, whose translation of Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian” won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, vividly brings to English the taut, searing stories. The tale of how the manuscript reached the free world, in two additional chapters, is harrowing itself.

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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Michael Melgaard on Mar 03 2017

The Accusation is a powerful work that seems destined to serve as the go-to example, and indictment, of life in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

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Reader Rating for The Accusation
92%

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