Listening to Famine in North Korea

Dr. Sandra Fahy has been a close friend of mine since we first met, shortly after she arrived in Seoul. I couldn’t be more proud of her for reasons that are quite evident in this interview, which we did in September of this year. Her book is based on her PhD dissertation in anthropology from the University of London, entitled Marching through Suffering: Loss and Survival in North Korea.

Sandra did an interview with Dr. Kang, the director of the Korean Studies Institute at USC for National Public Radio. (Link)

Sandra’s story

It began with my fascination … Read More

In the Mongolian Grasslands

In the mid-80s and earlier, most international tourists in China traveled with organized tours to places the authorities wanted them to see, while university students and faculty were more likely to be independent travelers who might well find themselves in areas that were “closed,” or off-limits to foreigners.

In 1986, I spoke with Valerie,  a fair-complected Australian studying Chinese at Xiamen University, or actually attached to the school but learning Chinese by traveling.  Her modest, unassuming manner gave her the ability to blend in almost anywhere without being noticed, except China.

Valerie’s story

I love the minority areas. The Chinese … Read More