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 there 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 recent essay on fear for Lapham’s Quarterly appears in The Best American Essays 2018 (Houghton Mifflin Hartcourt). She has been featured in the media around the world, including on CNN’s Christian Amanpour Show and Fareed Zakaria’s GPS, BBC Breakfast Show, BBC Radio 4, NPR’s Morning Edition, and Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. She holds a Guggenheim fellowship in fiction, a George Soros’s Open Society fellowship and a Fulbright Research Grant in nonfiction, and a Ferris journalism fellowship at Princeton University. Her 2015 TED Talk, which received a standing ovation from its audience including Bill Gates and Al Gore, has since drawn millions of viewers online. She is a 2019 New America fellow.

suki kim casual author photo