The World Is Bigger Now: An American Journalist's Release from Captivity in North Korea . . . A Remarkable Story of Faith, Family, and Forgiveness

The World Is Bigger Now: An American Journalist's Release from Captivity in North Korea . . . A Remarkable Story of Faith, Family, and Forgiveness

by Euna Lee, Lisa Dickey

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307716132
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/28/2010
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.96(w) x 11.28(h) x 1.32(d)

About the Author

EUNA LEE is a film editor for Current TV, a cable network cofounded by former vice president Al Gore. As an editor, she has worked on humanitarian stories such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic in India, American troops in Iraq, the U.S. war on drugs in Bolivia, and parolees in the United States. She was working as a producer on a documentary about North Korean defectors when she was arrested and detained in North Korea. She earned a motion pictures and television degree at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and she lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Michael, and daughter, Hana.

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World Is Bigger Now: An American Journalist's Release from Captivity in North Korea . . . A Remarkable Story of Faith, Family, and Forgiveness 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
pooleman More than 1 year ago
For whatever reason, other than a little 4 minute video, there has been little publicity on this book. No Oprah, People, Larrry King etc., which is too bad, because I believe a lot of people will not read this book. Yes, it is the same "story" as the Ling sisters, and we know how it ends, but Euna Lee tells the tale from a much different perspective. She is not the experienced reporter that Laura and Lisa are, she is a film editor, born and raised in South Korea whose dream is to make an important documentary to help the world understand the plight of the North Korean refugees in China, who are mostly female and sold into some type of sexual slavery or arranged marriage, and if they are caught are sent back to North Korea for imprisonment or even death. This assignment was to be Euna's big break, her chance to make that documentary, her first overseas field assignment away from the confines of the Current editing room. And a week or so in to the work, she is a prisoner of the North Korean government. I recommend this book for the following people: 1. Christians or believers of any faith. Euna is a devout Christian, and this book journeys her ups and downs of her faith from the "where is my God" as she is being led in captivity to the resignation of "this is God's will" as she prepares for her twelve year sentence to a labor camp. If you are not a Christian, it still is a good read because Ms. Lee is not preachy, she just writes about this because it is who she is 2. Followers of the story: All the people on Facebook, or those of you who followed the story through the airport reunion should read this. Obviously there are shared experiences of Laura and Euna, but it is a different book. Ms. Lee goes into a lot more detail about the events that led up to that fateful day and as a South Korean has some different experiences (such as being called a betrayer of her race). She also isnt' aware of all the political processes going on that Laura and Lisa were in the middle of. She was told on her fourth phonecall to try and get her government to do more, but had no idea what to say. Finally, anyone who likes a good human interest story about struggling against hardshisps and fear and the unknown will enjoy this book If this wasn't a true story, it would make a good work of fiction.
LuccaQ More than 1 year ago
Great to hear Euna's story. Interesting to the contrasts between her and Laura's detainment. The parts highlighting how difficult it was to be separated from her family, particularly her daughter, were heartbreaking. Although I am not a Christian Euna's faith throughout her ordeal is truly inspiring. Always interesting to get a glimpse into North Korean life.
dk_phoenix on LibraryThing 8 months ago
In 2009, Euna Lee and her colleague Laura Ling were arrested by North Korean soldiers when they came too close to the border. At the time, they were filming footage for a documentary on North Korean defectors. I remembered hearing this story in the newspaper back in March 2009, and thinking, "What kind of idiot journalist goes into North Korea and doesn't expect to get arrested?!?! Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows to stay away from there..." and at the time, I don't think I had even one ounce of sympathy for them. I was frustrated by their actions as journalists who should absolutely know better.So when a chance to read Lee's memoir of the arrest/imprisonment came up, I took it, not entirely sure what to expect. What did the woman have to say for herself? It turns out I was humbled by her memoir, and fully shamed for having jumped to conclusions so easily. Yes, Lee and Ling were arrested by North Korean soldiers... on the Chinese side of the border. They weren't even in North Korea at the time. That's only the beginning to what amounts to no less than an incredible story about life, love, and faith under dire circumstances. While Lee no doubt had an easier time of things in N. Korea than her colleague (Ling didn't speak Korean, Lee did; Ling apparently has a book of her own forthcoming), her account of the time spent in prison and with the guards / officials assigned to her is fascinating.Lee doesn't build herself up as a hero or a courageous pillar of strength -- rather, she fully admits how she struggled, wept, and alternated between times of active resolve to get home and passive resignation to her fate in a North Korean prison.What made this an even more interesting read was the picture painted of the North Koreans themselves. Western media doesn't really know what to make of the North Koreans, and since we're not allowed to see within those walls, the country as a whole tends to be demonized. But Lee lets us see that the North Koreans are just like you and I, people who are just trying to get by in the lives they're living, and who for the most part -- perhaps most surprising of all -- actually did everything they could to reunite Lee with her family.While the book had its down moments (what memoir doesn't?), I'd definitely recommend the book to those who were interested in the story when it broke back in 2009, and anyone who wants to gain a greater understanding of who the North Koreans are -- and their plight in such a restrictive regime.
khager on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Euna Lee was one of two journalists imprisoned in North Korea (the other was Laura Ling). Euna and Laura worked for a TV station and were working on a story on people trying to escape from North Korea. They got too close to the border and were arrested and detained for months.This book is Euna¿s account of what happened. It¿s a story of faith in hard circumstances. Throughout her ordeal, Euna kept a relationship with God and it is, I think, a realistic one. I¿m pretty sure under similar circumstances, I would also recognize that God was in charge but also perhaps not moving as quickly as I would like. ;)I also appreciate the fact that she doesn¿t portray herself as being particularly brave or heroic. There are plenty of times throughout the narrative where she¿s afraid and unhappy, crying and petulant. But that¿s the thing with bravery, right? It isn¿t particularly noteworthy if you aren¿t scared.Recommended.
akreese on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The World is Bigger Now is Euna Lee¿s recollection of her time spent imprisoned in North Korea, and the story of how she ended up there. Euna was working on a documentary that told the stories of escapees from North Korea, many of whom were in hiding in China (because China sends them back to North Korea if they are caught).To me the most fascinating parts of this book were the stories of those refugees (which were a small section of the book). The author relates her experiences interviewing them, as well as their personal stories of escaping from North Korea and seeking refuge in China. It was interesting to get a closer look at what life is like for those trying to leave North Korea, and I will definitely be on the lookout for other good books on the topic.Euna¿s story was one that I already knew from watching all of the media coverage from when it happened. So, while it was nice to read about her experiences and what was going on in her head, there wasn¿t a sense of urgency in the reading, because I knew the outcome already.Euna spends a good amount of time detailing her mental state while in captivity and describing how her interrogator was excellent at using her testimony and that of Lisa Ling (the other reporter who was captured with her) against each other to elicit more information from both of them. Since she was held in solitary confinement (in a house/room with female guards who weren¿t allowed to talk to her) much of her story is about her changing mental state from day to day, ranging from despair to hope. It is also filled with references to Euna Lee¿s spiritual reflections on her experiences, and how her beliefs as a Christian helped her and strengthened her during the imprisonment. I¿m sure this inspirational story will appeal greatly to some, but for me it was just an okay read (and I think a lot of that had to do with already knowing what was going to happen). However, the stories of the North Korean refugees are important, and I was fascinated by that aspect of the story.
letseatgrandpa on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I remember following Euna Lee and Laura Ling¿s story on the news as they were captured and held in a North Korean detention center. Because we know so little about what goes on inside North Korea, I was really interested in reading her story when she got out, especially when I learned she is a Christian. One of my favorite aspects of this book is to watch her faith journey ¿ to see her prayers become more focused over time. Her prayers turned from immediate rescue to hope and peace in all circumstances. One can only imagine the horrors she had to endure, the worst of which was probably the unknown ¿ being unsure during every second of every day what will happen to you. To be able to maintain her faith during these times must have been incredibly difficult.I also loved how the majority of the North Koreans she encountered were so¿human. I think we forget the humanity in people when they are so far removed from us. We may assume it¿s a country of Kim Jong Ils running around oppressing peasants. I¿m sure there is some of that. But many of the people she had contact with were full of life and family and singing and happiness, despite their circumstances. I loved how Lee found the humanity in them, and how they found the humanity in her.I know Lee isn¿t a writer (she¿s a film editor), so I tried to cut her a little slack in the narrative department. But a lot of the time, I felt like it was a lot of telling and not a lot of showing. For instance, it was obvious she missed her daughter and her husband, but it wasn¿t often that I knew specifically what she missed about them. Those sorts of details were missing. It felt more like an umbrella covering everything, whereas those small details would have made it much more compelling. I know there¿s a fine balance when releasing a book quickly after something happens (before it becomes old news), but I didn¿t feel like Lee had enough time to fully digest what had happened to her. The book seemed a little rushed and it because of that, it lacked some depth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just got reading The World Is Bigger Now, by Euna Lee.  My eyes are swollen because I couldn't stop crying.  Euna's passion to do good for other turns into her own nightmare.  My heart broke when I read about her sweet Hana and her calls to her husband Michael, while she  was a prisoner of the North Korean government.  Even when Euna wrote about Officer Lee, her North Korean interrogator, tears filled my eyes.  Euna was place there for that time, for some reason, that she even says she may never know.  But for her to share her story now  is a reason for EVERYONE to read her captivating book.  Thank you Euna....you are an amazing Mommy, wife and  woman of God!    ~Carol Staab, NE
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