What if the world imagined by George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-four was real? What if everything around you was black and white except for the red letters on propaganda signs? Where spies like Orwell's Thought Police studied your facial expressions during political rallies to make sure you were sincere in your expressions and your thoughts? If you couldn't turn the dials of your radio away from the government station? In fact, there is such a place: North Korea, the only country not connected to the Internet by choice. Ruled over by a dictator, visible only in carefully controlled images, it's a mysterious, even sinister country. But it's also a place where 22 million people live, work, and dream of a different life. Journalist Barbara Demick spent a decade covering North Korea's strange politics and regulations. Then one day she met a young woman defector, Mi-ran, who told her about growing up there; about the cinema she used to go to when the country still had electricity, and about the teenage romance which blossomed there. Through Mi-ran's story Demick glimpsed another, more human side of North Korea. In Nothing to Envy, Demick re-traces the life of Mi-ran and of five other North Koreans, taking us into the heart of an elusive society. We see her subjects fall in love, nurture ambitions, and struggle with survival and betrayal. Their stories form a haunting portrait of a bizarre society and the cost it exacts on its citizens.
美國《洛杉磯時報》駐北京辦公室主任。她的北韓報導為她贏得海外記者俱樂部（Overseas Press Club）的人權報導獎，以及亞洲協會（Asia Society）與美國外交學院（American Academy of Diplomacy） 獎項。她為《費城探究者報》（Philadelphia Inquirer）做的塞拉耶佛（Sarajevo）報導為她贏得喬治‧波克獎（George Polk Award）與羅伯特‧甘迺迪獎（Robert F. Kennedy Award），而且入圍普立茲獎（Pulitzer Prize）最佳國際報導獎項。她的上一部作品是《洛加維納街：塞拉耶佛一處鄰里的生與死》（Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood）。