Paek Nam-nyong: 벗 (Friend)

The latest addition to my website is Paek Nam-nyong‘s 벗 (Friend). This is the first North Korean novel on my site. Moreover, it is not novel by a dissident North Korean but by a North Korean writer who is a member of the Party and well-respected within the country. We follow Judge Jeong Jin Wu who specialises in divorce and is asked to deal with the case between a successful singer and her lathe operator husband. He goes way beyond the call of duty in trying to resolve the matter and reconcile the couple. He also has his own marital problems, which he endeavours to work out as well as those of a neighbour. It is at times somewhat simplistic by our standards but nevertheless an interesting glance at a culture and system most of us know little about.

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