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A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea by [Ishikawa, Masaji]
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A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Length: 174 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Language: English

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From the Editor

When I read headlines about North Korea, the first thing that comes to mind is a cartoonish image of the country’s leader projected on large screens in front of military displays, bragging about testing nuclear weapons. But what about the normal people like you and me? It’s difficult to imagine the challenges they face while raising families, while living their everyday lives. Enter Masaji Ishikawa, who has risked his safety and the safety of his family—if any of them remain alive—to come forward with a daring story of escape.

Only a few scraps of information make their way across the barbed-wire borders of nations and ideologies that divide us from North Korea. Add the physical distance and it’s clear why we don’t automatically feel a kinship with people living in Pyongyang, Dong Chong-ri or Wonsan. But A River in Darkness breathed life into the ‘enemy’, revealing warmth, humanity and dignity in the face of a man we come to know well. Mr Ishikawa has lost everything, but he holds out hope that at least one of his sons is alive—and that, perhaps, if more people know his story, his son might learn that his dad is alive and safe in Japan.

It is my hope that by sharing this story with you I will share the empathy that overwhelmed me while reading. What do we do with this new-found connection to our fellow human beings—those living next door as well as those living across the world? Perhaps we will all feel encouraged to promote peace in our neighbourhoods, vote for things we believe in, reach out to those in need and realize that there are always real people involved in current events—some of them fathers who go to bed each night dreaming of reconnecting with their sons.

- Gabriella Page-Fort, Editor

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A terrifying true story of life in North Korea...Told in simple prose, this is a shocking and devastating tale of a country s utter contempt for its citizens. Kirkus Reviews

In his achingly straightforward memoir, Ishikawa vividly describes the horrendous conditions that the tyrannical and cultish state inflicts on its people...Ishikawa relates his painful story with sardonic humor and unwavering familial love even in the depths of despair, making human the often impersonal news coverage of mysterious and threatening North Korea. Booklist (starred review)

Like Kang Chol-hwan s The Aquariums of Pyongyang (2001) the book that spurred President George W. Bush s commitment to helping the people of North Korea Mr. Ishikawa s...descriptions of North Korean poverty are chilling, as are his accounts of the corruption and repression that dominated every aspect of life there...searing, swiftly paced. Wall Street Journal

Masaji Ishikawa was born in Japan to a Korean father but repatriated as a boy to the supposed paradise of North Korea. Newly translated into English, this account of his life and appalling times should become a classic. South China Morning Post

We often turn to books to help us understand people, experiences, and worldviews different from our own. If you re looking to further your education in 2018, pick up A River in Darkness: One Man s Escape from North Korea. In his memoir, translated from Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa recounts his turbulent childhood and life under a totalitarian regime in North Korea. Yes, you ll learn about the country s politics, leaders, and economy. But more importantly, you ll learn about the people who live there and what it s like to be on the lower end of the social hierarchy. HelloGiggles

Compulsively readable and heart-wrenching, A River in Darkness reveals the daily cruelty of North Korea s government to its poorest people. In this memoir, the victim is a young Japanese-born Korean who settles in the North with his parents, only to endure privation and abuse, as those he loves die of exhaustion, hunger, and loss of hope. Blaine Harden, New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Camp 14 and King of Spies: The Dark Reign of America s Spymaster in Korea


Product Description

An Amazon Charts Most Read and Most Sold book.

The harrowing true story of one man’s life in—and subsequent escape from—North Korea, one of the world’s most brutal totalitarian regimes.

Half-Korean, half-Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa has spent his whole life feeling like a man without a country. This feeling only deepened when his family moved from Japan to North Korea when Ishikawa was just thirteen years old, and unwittingly became members of the lowest social caste. His father, himself a Korean national, was lured to the new Communist country by promises of abundant work, education for his children, and a higher station in society. But the reality of their new life was far from utopian.

In this memoir translated from the original Japanese, Ishikawa candidly recounts his tumultuous upbringing and the brutal thirty-six years he spent living under a crushing totalitarian regime, as well as the challenges he faced repatriating to Japan after barely escaping North Korea with his life. A River in Darkness is not only a shocking portrait of life inside the country but a testament to the dignity—and indomitable nature—of the human spirit.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3144 KB
  • Print Length: 174 pages
  • Publisher: AmazonCrossing (1 January 2018)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,465 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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27 customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

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