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April 29, 2012
Blaine Harden
Author, "Escape From Camp 14"
Blaine Harden BIO:
Blaine Harden currently reports for PBS Frontline and contributes to The Economist. He was a correspondent for the Washington Post in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia, as well as in New York and Seattle. He was also a national correspondent for The New York Times and a writer for Time Magazine. He won the Ernie Pyle Award for coverage of the siege in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.

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Info: Author Blaine Harden discusses his historical narrative “Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West.” Harden tells the story of a young man named Shin Dong-hyuk, who was born in captivity at prison camp 14, located in central North Korea. Shin escaped in 2005. Harden says that Shin is the only individual actually born in a labor camp to escape. In his book, Harden explains that Camp 14 holds approximately fifteen thousand prisoners and is the toughest of six camps in the country because of the brutal working conditions and vigilance of the guards. He relates how Shin witnessed the execution of his mother and brother, whom he had reported to guards after overhearing them discuss the possibility of escape. He was severely beaten and tortured for information about his mother and brother until he convinced the guards that he had turned them in to authorities as required. Harden details Shin’s escape through an electrified fence by climbing over a dead companion’s body and his hazardous journey through China into South Korea. Harden talks about the process Shin undertook to learn about society and civilization, and how he ended up meeting him in 2008 while writing a story for The Washington Post. In addition, Mr. Harden discusses his early career as a writer and his motivations for becoming a journalist.





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