I was interested in—although not 100% convinced by—Suki Kim's essay "The Reluctant Memoirist" in New Republic. Kim is the author of Without You, There Is No Us: My Time With the Sons of North Korea’s Elite, a nonfiction account of Kim's time spent teaching ESL at an evangelical university in Pyongyang. While Kim viewed her work as investigative journalism, her publisher insisted on releasing it as a memoir. In Kim's opinion, this was largely due to gender and racial discrimination, although she acknowledges that memoirs generally out-sell books about investigative journalism. I'm sure Kim is correct about the underlying biases that lead to the memoir designation, but I suspect her publishers' number one concern is always going to be sales numbers.
Posted by: Julianka


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