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* Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
Barbara Demick. Random/Spiegel & Grau, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0-385-52390-5
A fascinating and deeply personal look at the lives of six defectors from the repressive totalitarian regime of the Republic of North Korea, in which Demick, an LA. Times staffer and former Seoul bureau chief, draws out details of daily life that would not otherwise be known to Western eyes because of the near-complete media censorship north of the arbitrary border drawn after Japan's surrender ending WWII. As she reveals, "ordinary" life in North Korea by the 1990s became a parade of horrors, where famine killed millions, manufacturing and …