Journalist & Novelist
Suki Kim is an investigative journalist, a novelist, and the only writer ever to have lived undercover in North Korea for immersive journalism. Born and raised in South Korea, Kim has travelled to North Korea since 2002, when she entered Pyongyang by joining a Kim Jong Il loyalist group for a cover feature for the New York Review of Books. During a decade-long investigation, she witnessed both Kim Jong-Il’s 60th birthday celebration and his death at age 69; she also profiled the New York Philharmonic’s 2008 concert there for Harper’s, for whom she has written extensively about North Korean defectors. In 2011, she went undercover in Pyongyang for six months to live with the future leaders during the final year of Kim Jong-il’s reign, which gave her unprecedented insights into the psychology of its elite and the country’s state during the regime change.
Kim’s New York Times bestselling nonfiction book Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea’s Elite is a literary, investigative documentation of North Korea’s most important recent history. Her first novel, The Interpreter, was a finalist for a PEN Hemingway Prize, and her articles and essays regularly appear in New York Times, Harper’s and The New Republic, where she is a contributing editor. She has been featured around the world, including on CNN’s Christian Amanpour Show and Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, and her 2015 TED Talk has since drawn millions of viewers online. She holds a Guggenheim fellowship, a George Soros’s Open Society fellowship, a Fulbright Research Grant, and was recently a Ferris journalism fellow at Princeton University.
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