Short biography

© Annette Hornischer / American Academy in Berlin
© Annette Hornischer / American Academy in Berlin

Suki Kim


June, July, August 2020

Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur des Landes Brandenburg

Suki Kim's New York Times bestselling Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea Elite is a literary, investigative documentation of North Korea's most important recent history. 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 been traveling to North Korea since 2002. During a decade-long investigation, she has witnessed the celebrations of Kim Jong-Il's 60th birthday celebration and his death at the age of 69. In 2011, she spent six months undercover in Pyongyang to live with the future leaders of the country during the last year of Kim Jong-Il's reign. This gave her unprecedented insights into the psychology of its elite. Her first novel The Interpreter won a PEN Open Book Award and was a finalist for a PEN Hemingway Prize. Her non-fiction appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Harper's, The New Yorker, and the New Republic, where she is a contributing editor. Her investigation of the sexual harassment at WNYC Radio for "The Cut," voted as ‘Best Investigative Reporting 2017’ by Longreads, led to the internal shakedown, from the dismissal of the longest-serving program hosts to the eventual exit of its president. Her essay on the fear for Lapham's Quarterly was published in The Best American Essays 2018. She was a Guggenheim fellow in fiction, a Fulbright fellow in nonfiction, an Open Society fellow at George Soros Foundation. Most recently, she was a Berlin Prize fellow at the American Academy, a Ferris professor at Princeton University and a Radcliffe fellow at Harvard University.

In 2020 she will be completing the writing of her new book of narrative nonfiction, reflecting upon Germany and its past parallel to that of the divided Korea.