About the Author
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 traveled 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 has 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 in Pyongyang for Harper’s, for whom she has written in depth 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 current state during a 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 (Penguin Random House) is a literary, investigative documentation of North Korea’s most important recent history.
Her first novel, The Interpreter (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) was the winner of a PEN Open Book Award and a finalist for a PEN Hemingway Prize, and her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, Atlantic, and The New Republic, where she is a contributing editor. Her investigation of the sexual harassment at WNYC for The Cut, voted as the “Best Investigative Reporting 2017” by Longreads, led to the internal shakedown, from the dismissal of the longest-serving program hosts to the eventual exit of its president. Her essay on fear for Lapham’s Quarterly was selected for The Best American Essays 2018 (Houghton Mifflin Hartcourt). She has been featured in the media around the world including CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, BBC, as well as on Christiane Amanpour Show and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in fiction, a George Soros’s Open Society fellowship and a Fulbright in nonfiction, and served as a Ferris journalism professor at Princeton University. Her 2015 TED Talk received a standing ovation from the audience including Bill Gates and Al Gore, and has since drawn millions of viewers online. She is a 2019 New America fellow and a winner of the 2019-2020 Berlin Prize at the American Academy.