Paek Nam-nyong’s Friend is a tale of marital intrigue, abuse, and divorce in North Korea. A woman in her thirties comes to a courthouse petitioning for a divorce. As the judge who hears her statement begins to investigate the case, the story unfolds into a broader consideration of love and marriage. The novel delves into its protagonists’ past, describing how the couple first fell in love and then how their marriage deteriorated over the years. It chronicles the toll their acrimony takes on their son and their careers alongside the story of the judge’s own marital troubles.A best-seller in North Korea, where Paek continues to live and write, Friend illuminates a side of life in the DPRK that Western readers have never before encountered. Far from being a propagandistic screed in praise of the Great Leader, Friend describes the lives of people who struggle with everyday problems such as marital woes and workplace conflicts. Instead of socialist-realist stock figures, Paek depicts complex characters who wrestle with universal questions of individual identity, the split between public and private selves, the unpredictability of existence, and the never-ending labor of maintaining a relationship. This groundbreaking translation of one of North Korea’s most popular writers offers English-language readers a page-turner full of psychological tension as well as a revealing portrait of a society that is typically seen as closed to the outside world.
Handpicked works from the greatest Argentinian writer of the twentieth century. “Without Borges the modern Latin American novel simply would not exist” (Carlos Fuentes, author and diplomat). After almost a half a century of scrupulous devotion to his art, Jorge Luis Borges personally compiled this anthology of his work—short stories, essays, poems, and brief mordant “sketches,” which, in Borges’s hands, take on the dimensions of a genre unique in modern letters. In this anthology, the author has put together those pieces on which he would like his reputation to rest; they are not arranged chronologically, but with an eye to their “sympathies and differences.” A Personal Anthology, therefore, is not merely a collection, but a new composition. “An important work, by far the best yet available to the reader . . . who seeks a representative sampling of the great Argentine writer . . . the standard introduction to Borges in England and the United States.” —Saturday Review
Animal Farm is an allegorical novella by George Orwell, first published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the fable reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union.
Nineteen Eighty-Four, often published as 1984, is a dystopian novel by English writer George Orwell published in June 1949, whose themes centre on the risks of government overreach, totalitarianism and repressive regimentation of all persons and behaviours within society.
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