Yeonmi Park, author of In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom was recently profiled in Reason Magazine (the text can be found at https://reason.com/blog/2015/11/15/yeonmi-parks-north-korean-defector-story). Park defected from her native North Korea when she was thirteen years old and recovering from a botched operation to repair what was thought to be an intestinal injury. Barely able to walk, Park and her mother crossed a frozen river into China to escape the brutal and oppressive living conditions the family was subjected to. North Korea has a long and well-documented history of human rights abuses and Park’s story confirms what many have said before her. Her father was a civil servant working for the local office of the Worker’s Party and by local standards was well off and held a high status. But during one of the many contrived food shortages, he was caught in a smuggling operation selling metals to Chinese black marketers. Sentenced to hard labor at a prison camp, the rest of the family was pushed to the margins of the local society and endured near stravation on many days. Park, like many North Koreans, had been indoctrinated to believe that the Kim dynasty was the ultimate deity and to be revered in a God-like way. So strong was Park’s belief in Kim, she believed the ruler could actually read her thoughts. Despite her fears, Park, and her mother did set out to China with the plan to reunite with her father, locate her older sister who had unexpectedly left earlier, and then crosses the border into Mongolia where they could seek asylum and resettlement at the South Korean embassy. Immediately after entering China, Park, and her mother were betrayed by their human traffickers and sold into the sex trade. Both women were raped and repeated abused. With the help of other Koreans and Christian missionaries, the two women were eventually able to cross the Gobi Desert into Mongolia. Once they resettled in Seoul, Park quickly caught up on her educations devouring books by the dozens. She at long last forgot the notion that Kim was reading her mind and found her voice to speak out against the dictator and his ruling party. While some have expressed some concern about the veracity of Park’s accounts on NY Times of her defection and the conditions in North Korea, she has been able to garner a strong following of human rights activists and her fellow defectors.
The rich culture of Brazil is a great factor in the success of authors from Brazil. From the pre-independence era to the 21st Century, Brazil has churned out famous authors whose literary works have shaped and impacted the Brazilian cultural landscape. The Brazilian culture is as diverse as it could get as it is comprised of native Portuguese speakers, other European cultures and other immigrant cultures like Indians. The integration and interaction of these cultures have had a profound effect on Brazilian authors. It is for these reasons that authors from Brazil, from all walks of life, have ended up on the world platform with their works being acclaimed almost in all major cities in the world.
Among the renowned authors in the world in Brazil is Jamie Garcia Dias. Mr. Dias has written well over 20 books and has received various awards. His first major award was the White Crane Award, which he received in 2001. Born to a journalist and writer father in 1970, Dias drew much of his inspiration to be an author from his father. He began his career as an educationist at the Carioca Literature Academy in 1995 and later got to the position of the President of the Academy in 2007. The most famous works by Garcia is the book “Fell from Heaven” which was sold in many different parts of South America and also earned him honor from writers around the world. Other books include Two Ways, Canals and Clouds and Tiny.
YouTube shows among other great authors from the South, American Country is Jorge Amado whose works gained mass popularity among readers and also drew great criticism. His best-known works include the Backlands and the Canudos Campaign. During celebrations to mark his 100th birthday anniversary, celebrations were marked by events all over the world in cities like London, Paris and Lisbon. Paulo Coelho is another literary giant who had his book “The Alchemist” receive endorsement by former USA President,-Bill Clinton. His endeavors enabled him to receive the Crystal Award, awarded to him by the World Economic Forum. One female author from Brazil is Adriana Lisboa, who is a writer for children literature, and poems. She has published six novels in total.
Other famous authors include Euclides da Cunha, Mario de Andrade and Paulo Freire. Brazilian literature is drawn a wide range of styles including; literary critics, novels, fiction and nonfiction, and chroniclers. These authors have skillfully managed to integrate their cultures into their literary works to address and highlight issues that touch on morality, society values, inspiration and even political discourse. However more needs to be done to translate most of these literary works into English.