Pyongyang Blues

Four years in North Korea: the extraordinary story of a young European woman struggling with everyday life in the monolithic regime par excellence

What happens when a young woman responds to the precariousness of the capitalist system by finding work in one of the last remaining communist realities? At stake is your own world view, love and friendship, the search for stability and dignity.
Equipped with a master’s degree in diplomacy and previous experience in South Korea,  Carla Vitantonio presents North Korea with a new look, which enriches the usual representation of the monolithic regime par excellence with nuances and subtleties.
Her point of view, fresh and ironic, combines two main reflections: one on an ideological model that survived a vanished era, and the generational one on the model of working flexibility that the capitalist system imposed.

Carla Vitantonio first landed at Pyongyang airport with a job as an Italian teacher, she was in her early thirties and did not know that she would spend four years of her life in North Korea, in the meantime becoming head of mission of an international NGO .
Following the rhythm of the seasons and the cyclical nature of nature, the author proposes a parallel with the obsessively repetitive trends of the national political phases of calm and domestic and international tension.

A memoir on her experience of life and work in a country that through these stories turns out to be a little less alien in the end. No novel, travel report or in-depth essay has so far succeeded in the venture.

Internazionale, Italy

Carla Vitantonio was often the only Italian in North Korean territory, her testimony is one of the very few really credible

Il Foglio, Italy

A memoir that takes us with irony and yearning to places where press reports or geopolitical analyses can never go

Corriere della sera, Italy

A totally unprecedented account from inside the regime

Left, Italy

Vitantonio has succeeded in transforming fear of failure into an extraordinary adventure. The author’s conversational, chatty style glues you to the pages

Il Sole 24, Italy

Really interesting take on a much- misunderstood country.

Mike Gifford, former diplomat for the UK in North Korea