I told myself that I wasn’t going to write anything about Shin Dong-hyuk and his confession that key elements of his escape narrative were omitted, changed around or left out. I have never met Shin and I’ve never been able to vouch for the veracity of his book. I have talked about his book in public, however, and have always maintained that I did not doubt his story. Altough I could not verify the details, I believed its general structure to be valid.
I was part of the examination committee for this PhD thesis today: Writing under wartime conditions : North and South Korean writers during the Korean war (1950-1953), by Jerôme de Wit (now Dr de Wit!). The thesis is an exhaustive analysis of wartime literature, both from North and South Korea, and has unearthed a number of works previously thought lost. The thesis is