Grimly close to a real-life version of everyone’s favorite dystopian novel/movie? Guernica on author Shin Dong-hyuk, who in 2005 slipped out of North Korea through a hole in an high-voltage fence:
Born into one of North Korea’s six “complete control districts” (labor camps), which have remained virtually unnoticed by the global community despite their visibility on Google Earth, Shin was born stripped of his humanity. Classified as “irredeemable” because of an uncle’s crime against the state (fleeing the country after the Korean War), Shin was regularly overworked, abused, and starved. In Camp 14, an isolated compound about 30 miles long, Shin was taught to believe that violence was normal and snitching a duty.
When. at the age of 13, he discovered that his mother and older brother were planning an escape attempt, he promptly told a prison guard. Shin’s mother and brother were brought in front of the crowded camp and shot.