10 February 2016
We’re excited to be publishing The Accusation by Bandi, a collection of short stories by a North Korean writer, a man who is still living under the regime and writing under a pseudonym.
Deeply moving, and written with pathos, unexpected beauty, and precision, this book transports the reader to the world of 1990s North Korea. Like all good fiction this collection is full of characters with real, tough stories: from the wife who struggles to make breakfast every day during a famine, to the factory supervisor who does his best not to denounce a family friend while staying on the party’s good side, to the mother who brings up her child in a world filled with frightening propaganda. These are profound and eye-opening stories that recall aspects of some Soviet writers.
The Accusation will be published in spring 2017.
Hannah Westland, Serpent’s Tail publisher, said: ‘There’s such an informational black hole around North Korea that anything that slips across the 38th parallel deserves attention. But The Accusation isn’t just a book with a good story behind it: in fact, it’s a collection of perfectly crafted novellas that, like Solzhenitsyn’s work, speak with the dissident’s authority and truth-to-power directness. They have a classical construction that makes you think back to the great early practitioners of the form – Gogol, Maupassant, Chekov even; an absurdist approach to satire that recalls Ionesco’s Rhinoceros; and a biting wit that reminds you of that other great Russian literary dissident, Mikhail Bulgakov. Of course, the fact that Bandi has almost certainly never had access to either of these two latter writers underlines the quality of his own work. We look forward to working with Grove in the US and Bandi’s international publishers to ensure this groundbreaking book is one of the major publishing events of 2017′.