Suki Kim is a Korean American
journalist and writer. She is the author of two books: the award-winning novel ''The Interpreter''
and a book of investigative journalism, ''Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea's Elite''. Kim is the only writer ever to have lived undercover in North Korea to conduct immersive journalism
. Kim is currently a contributing editor at ''The New Republic
Kim was born in Seoul
, South Korea
and immigrated to the United States
with her family at thirteen. Kim is a naturalized American citizen.
Kim graduated from Barnard College
with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Kim also studied East Asian Literature at the School of Oriental and African Studies
. She has received a Fulbright Research Grant
, a Guggenheim Fellowship
, and an Open Society Foundations
Fellowship. Kim was also a Ferris Journalism Fellow at Princeton University
, where she was a visiting lecturer.
Kim's debut novel, ''The Interpreter''
, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux
, is a murder mystery about a young Korean-American woman, Suzy Park, living in New York City and searching for answers as to why her shopkeeper parents were murdered. Kim took a short term job as an interpreter in New York City
when working on the novel to look into the life of an interpreter. The book received positive critic reviews and won several awards. ''The Interpreter'' was translated into Dutch, French, Korean, Italian, and Japanese.
Visits to North Korea and Second Book
Kim visited North Korea in February 2002 to participate in the 60th birthday celebration of Kim Jong-il
. She documented this experience in a February 2003 cover essay for ''The New York Review of Books
Kim accompanied the New York Philharmonic
in February 2008, when they traveled to Pyongyang
for the historical cultural visit to North Korea from the United States. Her article, "A Really Big Show: The New York Philharmonic's fantasia in North Korea," was published in ''Harper's Magazine
'' in December 2008.
Her second book, ''Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea's Elite'', is a work of investigative journalism about her six months in Pyongyang, where she taught English at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology
The book has resulted in some controversy, with reviewers claiming that Kim brought harm on the students she wrote about, and that she caused tensions between the university and the North Korean government. The university staff accused Kim of making false claims about them. However, Kim addressed her critics in a June 2016 essay in ''The New Republic
''. Kim mentioned the shortcomings of labelling her second book as a memoir and the irony in reviewers dismissing this work for containing the components typically praised in investigative journalism. Kim also described how racism and sexism influenced public views on her expertise. Her publisher subsequently removed the label "memoir" from the cover of ''Without You, There Is No Us.''
In 2017, Suki Kim broke a sexual harassment scandal against John Hockenberry
at WNYC in her article in The Cut. Her investigation led to the firing of two longterm WNYC hosts, Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz, as well as the eventual resignation of its CEO, Laura Walker
, and Chief Content officer, Dean Cappello. Her article was voted as the Best Investigative Reporting of 2017 by Longreads.
In 2020, Kim published an investigative feature in The New Yorker
on Free Joseon
, a group that has declared itself a provisional government for North Korea, and she was the first to interview the group's leader Adrian Hong
while he was on the run from the Department of Justice.
Essays and Op-Eds
About North Korea and South Korea
* List of Asian American writers
* Suki Kim oTwitter
Category:Year of birth missing (living people)
Category:American writers of Korean descent
Category:South Korean emigrants to the United States
Category:Barnard College alumni
Category:People from Seoul
Category:21st-century American non-fiction writers
Category:21st-century American women writers
Category:Writers from New York City
Category:American women non-fiction writers
Category:American women memoirists