Bandi-AWLP Longlist


2018 Longlist

The Accusation“The Accusation”

Grove Press

“The Accusation” is a deeply moving and eye-opening work of fiction that paints a powerful portrait of life under the North Korean regime. Set during the period of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il’s leadership, the seven stories that make up “The Accusation” give voice to people living under this most bizarre and horrifying of dictatorships. The characters of these compelling stories come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from a young mother living among the elite in Pyongyang whose son misbehaves during a political rally, to a former Communist war hero who is deeply disillusioned with the intrusion of the Party into everything he holds dear, to a husband and father who is denied a travel permit and sneaks onto a train in order to visit his critically ill mother. Written with deep emotion and writing talent, “The Accusation” is a vivid depiction of life in a closed-off one-party state, and also a hopeful testament to the humanity and rich internal life that persists even in such inhumane conditions.


Bandi, which means “firefly” in Korean, is a pseudonym for a writer who is still living in his homeland of North Korea. “The Accusation,” which was written in secret and smuggled out of the country, is his only published book to date. Translator Deborah Smith is the Man Booker International Prize–winning translator of “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang and other books.