|Hyeonseo Lee, whose memoir will|
be published in Autumn 2014
The deal was brokered by Kelly Falconer of the Asia Literary Agency, based in
Hong Kong. And that’s why Kelly’s my agent. She comments,
This is the story not only of Hyeonseo's escape - literally from the darkness into the light - but also of her coming of age, of her "re-education", of her ability to successfully rebuild her life not once but twice, first in China, then in South Korea, which proved to be the more difficult of the two. Thousands of refugees and escapees pour out of
North Koreabut thousands also struggle to adapt, and rarely do they thrive, as Hyeonseo Lee has.
The book is due to be published in Autumn 2014. Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish rights have been sold at various auctions by Pontas Literary Agency, acting on behalf of the Asia Literary Agency, with other offers currently under consideration.
Buzz about Hyeonseo Lee has been building for months following her TED talk, which detailed her escape from
North Korea and has gathered over 2 million views online. It is viewable here:
As a child, Hyeonseo Lee thought her country was ‘the best on the planet’. It wasn't until the devastating famine of the 1990s that she began to question what she had been taught. She escaped to
China when she was 14 and began a life in hiding as an illegal alien. The book, as yet untitled, will describe her privileged childhood in North Korea, her life in China, her decision to settle eventually in South Korea and her journey back to North Korea to rescue her mother and brother. She is now at university in South Korea and is a human-rights advocate and spokesperson for the North Korean refugee community.
Selected further reading about North Korea
- Barbara Demick, Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
- North Korean defector, Kim Young Soon, reveals conditions inside state's concentration camps (Huffington Post)
- Out of a hidden place: two new books, one personal, one political, let daylight into the hidden kingdom of North Korea (Economist)
- North Korean memoir tests South's interest in refugee stories (Wall Street Journal)
- North Korean 'court poet' to publish memoir (Guardian)
- Four memoirs portraying the realities of modern day North Korea (Mapping Worlds)
Press release text (c) Flatcap Asia, with thanks to Kelly Falconer for exclusive quote.