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[Read] ➲ Jia: A Novel of North Korea Author Hyejin Kim – Cravenjobs.co.uk

  • Paperback
  • 240 pages
  • Jia: A Novel of North Korea
  • Hyejin Kim
  • English
  • 09 March 2017
  • 9781573442756

10 thoughts on “Jia: A Novel of North Korea

  1. says:

    3.5 The author was inspired to write this novel because of her work with North Koreans, now living in Northern China One looks at the cover, the smiling apparently happy little girls, all for show, like most things are in North Korea They were in fact little girls from a state run orphanage, and played as an honor to important personages and to their leader A dancer is what all young girls inspire to be, because if they are a dancer they are provided food, shelter and a community of girls This novel book reads like a memoir, told with little emotion which when one understands what these people go through, all the sorrow in their lives, near starvation, friend disappearing, families murdered., Once one is politically suspect the whole family is punished and all associates are tarred with the same brush, their is not redeeming oneself, they must be forever careful Jia herself, is a wonder and modeled on a real person, but she also has some amazing luck When her luck finally runs out and she escapes to China, she eventually meets people who care about her and help her. She in fortunate, but many of her friends were no,t as the reader also learns Many give up, many have hope and keep going, thinking something better is just around the corner Important book for those who are curious or interested in North Korea The writing seems simplistic at times, but it is easy to read thought the subject matter is not So hard to believe that in this day and time so much of this still goes on in the world.

  2. says:

    The beginning of this was good, reminded me a bit of Memoirs of a Geisha And certainly it was a novelty reading a book set in North Korea I mean, nobody knows anything about North Korea However, as one professional reviewer pointed out, the book reads like a first draft It was like the author was trying to cram as many North Korea issues into the story as possible and she couldn t keep track of them all So many plotlines were simply abandoned and there was basically no ending Also, the business at the end with that nice guy suddenly deciding to rescue Jia from the brothel and pay for her to learn Chinese and everything for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON pretty much defines the term deus ex machina C minus.

  3. says:

    2012 03Ketika mendengar nama Korea, apa yang kau ingat Apakah ponsel Samsung, tanaman Ginseng, olimpiade Seoul, atau melodrama mengharu biru dan grup penyanyi beranggotakan banyak orang Sadarkah bahwa semua itu hanya terjadi di Korea Selatan Dan apa yang terjadi di Korea Utara jauh berbeda 180 derajat Tahun 80 an, di Korea Utara masih ada gulag, pembuangan tahanan politik, orang orang yang tidak disukai oleh pemerintahan karena mengungkapkan pikirannya sendiri Jia mengalami hal ini Masa kecilnya dihabiskan di daerah pembuangan yang tandus, sampai ia berhasil dilarikan ke Pyongyang Tahun 1997, ketika di Indonesia iklim politik mulai goyang, di Korea Utara masih saja ada penangkapan penangkapan kepada warga yang membelot, yang dianggap kaum pembangkang Silsilah orang diselidiki Setiap orang bisa menjadi mata mata atas yang orang lainnya.Tahun itu, usia Jia 18 tahun, sama denganku di Indonesia Di sini, aku bisa bersekolah sebagai langkah menuju cita citaku, di Korea Utara, Jia bekerja sebagai penari tanpa tahu cita citanya, terjebak dalam cintanya pada seorang tentara yang ia takutkan sikapnya apabila sampai tahu apa yang ia sembunyikan di masa lalu Dan akhirnya ia melihat tanah seberang sebagai impian Dan jalan keluarnya harus dibayar mahalYang menciptakan batas itu hanyalah sekelompok penguasa dengan tentara sebagai anteknya, tidak memberi penghidupan yang layak di negaranya, namun tidak mengijinkan rakyatnya untuk bahagia di tempat lain Orang orang kecil selalu menjadi korban atas batas.

  4. says:

    This was good It s a fictional novel about a North Korean who defects to China It rings true based on actual North Korean defector memoirs that I ve read Some westerners criticize the lack of emotion in the novel but that s how Korean memoirs sound I don t know enough about Korean culture to say why that is but very often their stories sound impersonal and their affects are flat even when they speak of things that were surely emotionally devastating Many threads of the story were left open This would be ok for a true memoir but it was unsatisfying in a novel None the less, the story was enjoyable and, though the novel is fiction, the reader can learn much here about North Korea and the defector experience in China.

  5. says:

    Okay, here s the deal This is the first novel about present day North Korea translated into English, which means it is many readers first look into North Korea through fiction, which makes this book a pretty big deal Because of all this, I really, really, really, really, really wanted to love this book Unfortunately, I don t I m not sure if the translation is to blame, but the author fails to really elicit much empathy for Jia I know that sounds crazy b c Jia went through some horrible stuff and it seems crazy not to feel empathy for her, but, well, I just don t The writing is too passive and we re told Jia s emotions as opposed to shown them show, not tell Other characters come in and out of Jia s life and the plot but there s almost no character development It s obvious the author wanted to showcase as many North Korean experiences as she possibly could, so she introduced these characters as sort of stock characters the kkotjebi orphaned, homeless child , the North Korean woman forced into prostitution at the hotel, North Korean women forced into prostitution in China, the soldier boyfriend, etc., but this strategy results in too many characters with no character development and no resolutions for any of them I m not expecting neat, pat endings per se, but it was jarring to have so many characters walk in and out of the plot Sometimes the different characters and their stories didn t really seem to further the plot along The Kirkus reviewer claims the characters, pop up and disappear like whack a moles, and I couldn t agree Here s a quote from the Kirkus review that pretty much sums up how I feel about this book Hampered by a persistently passive voice, the action is contrived, and the novel s resolution unsatisfying as a series of events converge to bring the story to a halt, leaving behind lots of loose ends In need of better editing and character development, the book fails to generate reader empathy Reads like an unedited first draft I m giving this 3 stars because I believe this is an important piece of literature simply because of the content and timeliness of it, but I would definitely try to supplement this novel with other books about North Korea and the North Korean experience.

  6. says:

    Of all the things I ve read and seen about N Korea the DPRK , this is the first fictionalized account The author stated this book was based on a person she came to know in real life, but it is also an accumulation of many others as well The writing style came across as juvenile, blunt, and first drafty but this can all be chalked up to translation, which I always try to keep in mind when reading an English translation especially one for a book that is not a best seller However, I really did enjoy the story After all the second hand accounts I ve read, it is different experiencing it in a first person narrative a narrative which also includes all kinds of different ways people survive escape the conditions they do in N Korea Kim did a great job in weaving all these important stories and details together into one novel.

  7. says:

    Jia is a North Korean girl whose family is banned to the mountains because her father was suspected of teaching illegal subject matter in his science classes With both parents dead, her grandparents send Jia to the city where she ends up being raised in an orphanage She comes out of the orphanage in the late 90 s about the time of the great famines in North Korea She has dancing and singing talent however, and that gets her a good position until her background forces her to defect to China Reading how North Koreans are treated in Northern China was quite shocking I also learned quite a bit about life in North Korea Excellent read.

  8. says:

    Found this work of fiction while searching the public library catalog for a whole slew of nonfiction writing about Korea, its history, its people, and their psychologysince the book bears my first name, I reserved it with a chuckle and set out to read it almost in amused irony.Turned out, this is one of the best of the many fictionalized accounts of the horrors of either the Korean War or North Korea that exist The book goes by very fast, and is alternately dreadful and torturously suspenseful until an end that is inconclusive, unredeeming, and depressing, just like the actual situation on the Peninsula and for North Korean refugees trying to make a life in border countries and beyond.I started taking this book seriously beginning with the author s introduction to the book, in which she divulges that her own father had been imprisoned in South Korea upon accusations of harboring Communist sentiment As a result, she did not recognize him when he returned home one day when she had grown from a baby into a little girl After a lifetime of a South Korean s learned aversion to North Korean people, she met a refugee of the DPRK and began learning about the woman s side of the story This book is a result of these real life interactions and privileged knowledge garnered about a country and a people that the rest of the world still knows so very little about despite all the rogue journalists who think they are always providing the next most shocking expos.Most striking was how the author imparts the stuck in time ness of North Korea I kept on thinking I was reading a Korean War era story because of the horrors and the destitution, but then kept getting snapped back to the realization that much of the plot takes place during the late 1990s, when famine had descended upon the country and people began to really risk their lives to get outand when I was growing up perfectly happy, well fed, and free in the USA.The only thing that would make this five stars would be if it were a hundred percent true, and came with recommendations for what the average concerned citizen could do to help people like Jia Then again, I feel sick enough as it is from the tragedies and separations constructed by the author s imagination, and can t imagine how much devastating it would be to know such events had befallen an actual person, though this could be, and pretty much is, any North Korean s story I feel like this book s slipped past people s radars when others got attention It s definitely worth picking up, and can be devoured in just a couple days commute.

  9. says:

    A man on a bus once asked the author where she was from When she replied Korea, he asked her Which Korea I frowned I didn t understand what he meant South Korea or North Korea I was completely thrown I watched his face for another moment South or North I wondered I was captivated by this sentence I wondered to myself, how can you not know if you are from North Korea or South Korea I m aware of the hostile feelings between the two countries, and the DMZ that divides North from South I even spent some time on Jeju island in South Korea while studying Korean at university How could you not KNOW The answer was that as a South Korean, the author had been brought up to believe North Korea wasn t a real country The subject of this novel is important it s about a North Korean woman who tries to escape North Korea for a better life in China, and tells of her experiences and those of a couple of her friends While interesting, illuminating and terrifying, what this novel didn t do was evoke any empathy, or tug on the heartstrings Jia seems so cloaked, you can t get close to her, and don t really even know who she is or her true emotions Does she even feel strong emotions That really let the novel down in my opinion.

  10. says:

    Read this before I head to South Korea this week just to get some understanding of Korean culture, etc Devoured it in 1 day at the expense of sleep and school but it was than worth it It is straightforward, honest, and gives an amazing look into the lives of North Koreans and refugees to China I particularly enjoyed the authors focus on how life moves on, that when horrible things happen to us the human spirit doesn t always wail and wallow but silently mourns and then repairs I also liked the main character s fiery spirit even in situations where you think it might just be best for her to go along with the situation, with the result that sometimes things are made worse by her fighting, but sometimes things are made better.

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characters Jia: A Novel of North Korea, audiobook Jia: A Novel of North Korea, files book Jia: A Novel of North Korea, today Jia: A Novel of North Korea, Jia: A Novel of North Korea b6226 The First Novel About Present Day North Korea To Be Published In The WestA Moving And True To Life Tale Of Courage In The Face Of Oppression And ExileHyejin Kim SJia Follows The Adventures Of An Orphaned Young Woman, Jia, Who Has The Grace Of A Dancer But The Misfortune Of Coming From A Politically Suspect Family In The Isolated Mining Village Of Her Childhood, Jia S Father, A Science Teacher, Questions Government Intrusion Into His Classroom And Is Taken Away By Police, Never To Be Heard From Again Now Jia Must Leave The Village Where Her Family Has Been Sent As Punishment To Carve A Path For Herself Her Journey Takes Her First To Pyongyang, And Finally To Shenyang In Northeast China Along The Way, She Falls In Love With A Soldier, Befriends Beggars, Is Kidnapped, Beaten, And Sold, Negotiates Chinese Culture, And Learns To Balance Cruel Necessity With The Possibilities Of Kindness And Love Above All, Jia Must Remain Wary, Always Ready To Adapt To The Capricious Political Winds Of Modern North Korea And China

About the Author: Hyejin Kim

Settled now in Singapore after living in Korea, China, the United States and gaining her Rutgers University Ph D in Global Affairs, Hyejin Kim works as a development adviser for the Singapore Korean School and as a technical interpreter facilitating exchange between Korean and Singapore markets and governments Besides, she is a freelance writer apart from the Global Voices articles, she has wr