An anonymous North Korean writer, who is still living in the country, has come out with a collection of heart-wrenching stories which has been smuggled out and translated into 18 languages and published in 17 countries.
"The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea" was written in 2014, by the dissident known only by the pseudonym Bandi.
The book has been translated by Deborah Smith.
Smuggled out of North Korea, the work of fiction paints a powerful and unflinching portrait of life under the rule of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il.
"The Accusation" is first and foremost a reminder that humanity can sustain hope even in the most desperate of circumstances and that the courage of free thought has a power far beyond those who seek to suppress it, according to Hachette, which has published the book in India.
"All we know about Bandi (meaning firefly in Korean) is that he risked his life to enlighten the world of the slavery and tyranny in North Korea. He belonged to the Korean Writers' Alliance, a government-controlled organ dedicated to producing censored literature for state-run periodicals of the North, it said.
The stories were written in pencil on 743 sheets of paper and dated between 1989 and 1997.
"Bandi took upon himself the role of a spokesperson denouncing the misery inflicted on the North Korean people by North Korean-style socialism, a system riddled with internal contradictions in which individuals were classified according to a social standing determined at birth and could be condemned as guilty by association," says Kim Seong-dong, writer for the Monthly Chosun, in the afterword.
"These stories each described and denounced a real situation, which can be difficult to combine with literary excellence; but Bandi considered it his duty as a writer to produce work whose literariness would, in a sense, live up to the reality of the events he described," Kim wrote.