Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Freebie: The Accusation by Bandi

Congratulations to Bart Zimmer, winner of last week’s Friday Freebie: the new Penguin Classics edition of Beauty and the Beast, edited by Maria Tatar.

This week’s contest is for The Accusation by Bandi, now out from Grove/Atlantic. Subtitled Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea, this might be one of the most important, timely books I’ve ever featured as a Friday Freebie. “Bandi,” which means “firefly” in Korean, is a pseudonym for a writer who is still living in his homeland of North Korea, and who wrote these stories in secret. The Accusation was written at great risk; it’s up to us to read them to validate the author’s peril. As the National Post writes: “The Accusation shines a light on the dark half of the Korean peninsula with stories that are as readable as they are important...If these stories are an exorcism for the author, they are a revelation for us; The Accusation is fiction, but it is fiction that screams truth. Like its great literary predecessor One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, The Accusation is a powerful work that seems destined to serve as the go-to example, and indictment, of life in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” Keep scrolling for more information about the book...

The Accusation is a deeply moving and eye-opening work of fiction that paints a powerful portrait of life under the North Korean regime. Set during the period of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il’s leadership, the seven stories that make up The Accusation give voice to people living under this most bizarre and horrifying of dictatorships. The characters of these compelling stories come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from a young mother living among the elite in Pyongyang whose son misbehaves during a political rally, to a former Communist war hero who is deeply disillusioned with the intrusion of the Party into everything he holds dear, to a husband and father who is denied a travel permit and sneaks onto a train in order to visit his critically ill mother. Written with deep emotion and writing talent, The Accusation is a vivid depiction of life in a closed-off one-party state, and also a hopeful testament to the humanity and rich internal life that persists even in such inhumane conditions.

If you’d like a chance at winning The Accusation, simply email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line. Please include your mailing address in the body of the e-mail. One entry per person, please. Despite its name, the Friday Freebie remains open to entries until midnight on March 30, at which time I’ll draw the winning name. I’ll announce the lucky reader on March 31. If you’d like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week newsletter, simply add the words “Sign me up for the newsletter” in the body of your email. Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning? Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter. Once you’ve done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying “I’ve shared” and I’ll put your name in the hat twice.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I have been quite fascinated with North Korea for many years. I imagine though this is fiction, there may be some truths in the stories.