BookTalkUNA presents


ESCAPE FROM CAMP 14
One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West


Join us for an evening of discussion with special guest
BLAINE HARDEN
Award-winning international journalist and author




BookTalkUNA
is held in conjunction with
the Institute of International Education


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

6 p.m. | Reception
6:30 p.m. | Presentation
7:15 p.m. | Book Signing

Institute of International Education
809 United Nations Plaza, Kaufman Center
New York, NY

 

ADMISSION

UNA Members: FREE
UNA Student Members: FREE
Guests and Non-Members: $15



ESCAPE FROM CAMP 14 is the shocking story of one of the few people born in a North Korean political prison to have escaped and survived.

North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin's Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps.

Twenty-seven years ago, Shin Dong-hyuk was born inside Camp 14, one of five sprawling political prisons in the mountains of North Korea. Located about 55 miles north of Pyongyang, the labor camp is a 'complete control district,' a no-exit prison where the only sentence is life. No one born in Camp 14 or in any North Korean political prison camp has escaped. No one except Shin. This is his story.

In Escape from Camp 14, a gripping, terrifying memoir with a searing sense of place, acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk and through the lens of Shin's life unlocks the secrets of the world's most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence — he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family.

Through Harden's harrowing narrative of Shin's life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world's darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival.


Blaine Harden is a reporter for PBS Frontline and a contributor to The Economist and Foreign Policy. He has formerly served as The Washington Post's bureau chief in East Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa; he also worked as national correspondent for the New York Times and as a writer for the Times magazine. He is the author of Africa: Dispatches from a Fragile Continent and A River Lost: The Life and Death of the Columbia.

Journalism awards include the Ernie Pyle Award for coverage of the siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War, the American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for Nondeadline Writing (stories about Africa), and the Livingston Award for International Reporting (stories about Africa).

Blaine is working on a second book about North Korea. He currently lives in Seattle with his wife Jessica and their two children, Lucinda and Arno.


Praise from the reviews


"This is a story unlike any other... More so than any other book on North Korea, including my own, Escape from Camp 14 exposes the cruelty that is the underpinning of Kim Jong Il's regime. Blaine Harden, a veteran foreign correspondent from The Washington Post, tells this story masterfully...The integrity of this book shines through on every page." Barbara Demick, author of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

"Escape from Camp 14, the story of Shin's awakening, escape and new beginning, is a riveting, remarkable book that should be required reading in every high-school or college-civics class. Like The Diary of Anne Frank or Dith Pran's account of his flight from Pol Pot's genocide in Cambodia, it's impossible to read this excruciatingly personal account of systemic monstrosities without fearing you might just swallow your own heart...Harden's wisdom as a writer shines on every page." Seattle Times

"If you have a soul, you will be changed forever by Blaine Harden's Escape from Camp 14...Harden masterfully allows us to know Shin, not as a giant but as a man, struggling to understand what was done to him and what he was forced to do to survive. By doing so, Escape from Camp 14 stands as a searing indictment of a depraved regime and a tribute to all those who cling to their humanity in the face of evil." Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La

"As U.S. policymakers wonder what changes may arise after the recent death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, this gripping book should raise awareness of the brutality that underscores this strange land. Without interrupting the narrative, Harden skillfully weaves in details of North Korea's history, politics and society, providing context for Shin's plight." Associated Press

"Harden tells a gripping story. Readers learn of Shin's gradual discovery of the world at large, nonadversarial human relationships, literature, and hope—and the struggles ahead. A book that all adults should read." Library Journal (starred review)

"Harden expertly interleaves thoughtful reports on the larger North Korean context into the more personal part of the narrative. Precise and lucid, he fills us in on this totalitarian state's workings, its international relations and its devastating famines…This book packs a huge wallop in its short 200 pages. The author sticks to the facts and avoids an emotionally exploitative tone -- but those facts are more than enough to rend at our hearts, to make us want to seek out more information and to ask if there isn't more than can be done to bring about change." The Oregonian


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