This installment of Riot Recommendation is sponsored by All Woman and Springtime by Brandon W. Jones.
Before she met Il-sun in an orphanage, Gi was a hollow husk of a girl, broken from growing up in one of North Korea’s forced-labor camps. A mathematical genius, she has learned to cope with pain by retreating into a realm of numbers and calculations, an escape from both the past and present. Gi becomes enamored of the brash and radiant Il-sun, a friend she describes as “all woman and spring- time.” But Il-sun’s pursuit of a better life imperils both girls when her suitor spirits them across the Demilitarized Zone and sells them as sex workers, first in South Korea and then in the United states.
We often talk about reading as a way to understand cultures and experiences we wouldn’t otherwise encounter. Though they can at times be difficult, stories that uncover and illuminate social issues in other parts of the world are an important part of our literary lives.
What are your favorite or most highly recommended stories that reveal what daily life looks like in countries whose day-to-day reality is relatively unknown in North America?