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Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Homeby Laura Ling and Lisa Ling
Synopses & Reviews
On March 17, 2009, Laura Ling and her colleague Euna Lee were working on a documentary about North Korean defectors who were fleeing the desperate conditions in their homeland. While filming on the Chinese — North Korean border, they were chased down by North Korean soldiers who violently apprehended them. Laura and Euna were charged with trespassing and "hostile acts," and imprisoned by Kim Jong Il's notoriously secretive Communist state. Kept totally apart, they endured months of interrogations and eventually a trial before North Korea's highest court. They were the first Americans ever to be sentenced to twelve years of hard labor in a prison camp in North Korea.
When news of the arrest reached Laura's sister, journalist Lisa Ling, she immediately began a campaign to get her sister released, one that led her from the State Department to the higher echelons of the media world and eventually to the White House.
Somewhere Inside reveals for the first time Laura's gripping account of what really happened on the river, her treatment at the hands of North Korean guards, and the deprivations and rounds of harrowing interrogations she endured. She speaks movingly about the emotional toll inflicted on her by her incarceration, including the measures she took to protect her sources and her fears that she might never see her family again.
Lisa writes about her unrelenting efforts to secure Laura and Euna's release. Offering insights into the vast media campaign spearheaded on the women's behalf, Lisa also takes us deep into the drama involving people at the highest levels of government, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, Senator John Kerry, and Governor Bill Richardson — intense discussions that entailed strategically balancing the agendas and good intentions of the various players. She also describes her role in the back-and-forth between North Korea's demands and the dramatic rescue by former President Bill Clinton.
Though they were thousands of miles apart while Laura was in captivity, the Ling sisters' relationship became a way for the reclusive North Korean government to send messages to the United States government, which helped lead to Laura and Euna's eventual release.
Told in the sisters' alternating voices, Somewhere Inside is a timely, inspiring, and page-turning tale of survival set against the canvas of international politics that goes beyond the headlines to reveal the impact on lives engulfed by forces beyond their control. But it is also a window into the unique bond these two sisters have always shared, a bond that sustained them throughout the most horrifying ordeal of their lives.
Three Americans captured by Iranian forces and held in captivity reveal, for the first time, the full story of their imprisonment and fight for freedom.
On March 17, 2009, while filming a documentary on the Chinese–North Korean border, Laura Ling and her colleague Euna Lee were violently apprehended by North Korean soldiers, charged with trespassing and "hostile acts," and imprisoned by Kim Jong Il's notoriously secretive Communist state. Kept totally apart, they endured months of interrogations and a trial before North Korea's highest court that led to a sentence of twelve years of hard labor in a North Korean prison camp.
When news of the arrest reached Laura's sister, journalist Lisa Ling, she immediately began a campaign to get Laura released. Her efforts led her from the State Department to the higher echelons of the media world and eventually to the White House. Lisa takes us deep into the drama between people in the highest levels of government, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, and eventually former President Bill Clinton, who arrived in North Korea in mid-August for a suspenseful rescue.
Somewhere Inside is a timely, inspiring, and page-turning tale of survival set against the canvas of international politics. Writing with their strong, poignant voices, both sisters go beyond the headlines to reveal the unique bond that has sustained them throughout the most horrifying ordeal of their lives.
“A Sliver of Light weaves a spellbinding tale of hard-won survival at the intersection of courage and love — the love of friends struggling to support one another in wretched circumstances, the unyielding bedrock of mothers' love for their long-lost children, and the fiercely tested love of three people for the family of humankind. It is a triumph of writing born of a triumph of being.” — Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree and The Noonday Demon
In summer 2009, Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd were hiking in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan when they unknowingly crossed into Iran and were captured by a border patrol. Wrongly accused of espionage, the three Americans ultimately found themselves in Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison, where activists and protesters from the Green Movement were still being confined and tortured. Cut off from the world and trapped in a legal black hole, Bauer, Fattal, and Shourd discovered that pooling their strength of will and relying on one another was the only way they could survive.
In A Sliver of Light, the three finally tell their side of the story. They offer a rare glimpse inside Iran at a time when understanding this fractured state has never been more important. But beyond that, this memoir is a profoundly humane account of defiance, hope, and the elemental power of friendship.
“Riveting and necessary and illuminating in countless unexpected ways. The hikers have pulled off the almost impossible task of making from their hellish experience something of beauty and grace.” — Dave Eggers
“A Sliver of Light is the record of a human rights triumph, a moving memoir by three individuals who found the strength to survive.” — San Jose Mercury News
About the Author
Laura Ling is host and correspondent for E! Investigates. Previously she was vice president of Current TV's investigative journalism series Vanguard.
Lisa Ling is a special correspondent for the Oprah Winfrey Show and a host of National Geographic Explorer. She was also a cohost of ABC's The View and a reporter for Channel One News.
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