Losing Her Religion: A Former Jehovah’s Witness on Leaving the Faith

Book review: Leaving the Witness, by Amber Scorah (Amazon / Book Depository) A Witness cannot just fade away without anyone trying to intervene, and it was hard to find enough mental space to gain any perspective. It’s not the kind of religion that lets you walk away, because the people in it think that by walking away, you have lost your mind and interventions will … Continue reading Losing Her Religion: A Former Jehovah’s Witness on Leaving the Faith

Reinvestigating A Mysterious Murder In Old China

Book review: Midnight in Peking, by Paul French (Amazon / Book Depository) After reading a footnote briefly referencing the murder of a young English expat in Peking (now Beijing), author Paul French woke up the next morning with the strong conviction that there was a deep and strange story behind it that needed telling. Midnight in Peking is the ominously suspenseful historical true crime account that … Continue reading Reinvestigating A Mysterious Murder In Old China

Inside the North Korean Gulag

Image of Workers’ Party of Korea Monument in Pyongyang by Mannen av börd, edited by Entheta (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons Book review: The Aquariums of Pyongyang, by Kang Chol-Hwan, and Pierre Rigoulot (Amazon / Book Depository) During the first days of my detention, I met a kid who wore black socks. At least that’s what I thought until I … Continue reading Inside the North Korean Gulag

Walking a Mile in the Shoes of Chinese Immigrants in Queens

Book review: Patriot Number One, by Lauren Hilgers (Amazon / Book Depository) Journalist Lauren Hilgers was somewhat surprised when an acquaintance from her years spent working in Shanghai showed up on her Brooklyn doorstep one evening. The man, Zhuang Lehong, was a Chinese activist-labeled-dissident who had traveled to the United States with his wife, Little Yan, planning to seek asylum. Hilgers profiled their experience in … Continue reading Walking a Mile in the Shoes of Chinese Immigrants in Queens

Many Names, Many Lives Of A North Korean Defector

Book review: The Girl With Seven Names, by Hyeonseo Lee with David John (Amazon / Book Depository) Leaving North Korea is not like leaving any other country. It is more like leaving another universe. I will never truly be free of its gravity, no matter how far I journey. After reading Barbara Demick’s brilliant Nothing to Envy, her group biography of several North Korean defectors, I was fascinated by … Continue reading Many Names, Many Lives Of A North Korean Defector