2017 Annual Lecture in Asian Demcoracy

The UofL Center for Asian Democracy and the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana and the Louisville Free Public Library present:

  Suki Kim - "Un
dercover in North Korea"
  2017 Annual Lecture in Asian Democracy
  October 18th, 6:30pm-8:00pm
  Louisville Free Public Library, Main Branch, 301 York Street


Suki Kim is the New York Times bestselling author of Without You, There Is No Us. The book chronicles the six months Kim spent teaching English to the 19-year-old sons of North Korea's ruling class at a brand-new university staffed only by foreigners. She is the only writer to go undercover in North Korea to investigate and write a book from the inside. In this talk, Kim offers an unprecedented and surprisingly moving look into the day-to-day machinations of North Korea’s totalitarian regime through the lens of her own remarkable experiences.

In her New York Times bestseller Without You, There Is No Us Suki Kim chronicles the time she spent in 2011 teaching the sons of North Korea’s elite. Working in disguise as a Christian missionary, Kim spent her days at PUST locked in what she calls the school’s “prison disguised as a campus,” recording everything she experienced on USB sticks in secret. Her talks delve deep into the realities of her day-to-day life in North Korea, drawing from her experiences to reveal the realities of what it’s like to live in a world where everything is controlled, closely monitored, and centered on a single “Great Leader.” Kim had unprecedented access to a side of North Korean culture most foreigners never get to see, and her insights about the country’s culture are as urgent as they are unsettling. Without You, There Is No Us has been praised by The New York Times Book Review, New York Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Foreign Policy, among others.

Kim’s first novel, The Interpreter, was a finalist for a PEN Hemingway Prize, and her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s, and the New York Review of Books. She has won a Fulbright, Guggenheim, and George Soros’ Open Society Fellowship, and was featured on the NPR’s Morning Edition and Diane Rehm shows, as well as on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and Christiane Amanpour shows and Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. Her 2015 TED Talk, for which she received a standing ovation, has drawn millions of viewers online. Fluent in Korean, she was born and raised in Seoul and now lives in New York.

Moderated by Mark Hebert. A booksigning will follow the talk.

“It’s like no other book I’ve ever read. It’s a look into a society and culture objectively, yet humanizing, terrifying, amazing.”
— Jon Stewart