New York Times bestselling author and BinderCon keynote, Suki Kim has been getting a lot of press as of late, primarily surrounding racism, sexism, and what she considers to be the misbranding of her investigative narrative journalism book, Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite, as memoir. In the past few weeks she has been featured on BuzzFeed News, NPR’s Morning Edition, and FlavorWire.
In her recent essay, “The Reluctant Memoirist,” Kim took on racism and sexism in the publishing world.
“I really do not feel comfortable with my book being called a memoir,” I told her. “I think calling it a memoir trivializes my reporting.”
As the only journalist to have lived undercover in North Korea, Kim explores not only the decision to brand her book as memoir, but the backlash she received from journalists:
“In their eyes, it seemed, I was a memoirist treading on journalistic turf, a Korean schoolteacher who sold out her students for a quick buck.”
Kim was also recently featured on KCRW’s Press Play with Madeline Brand. You can listen to that interview here: How Journalist Suki Kim Became a Reluctant Memoirist.
Last November, Suki Kim was a keynote speaker at BinderCon NYC. Here are a few key video segments from her talk: