Dystopian Nonfiction


I recently finished the book Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by MT Anderson. It's a moving account of how music can stir our passions and give us the will to survive. Leningrad during World War II was harsher than many dystopian settings we're given in fiction, and it all really happened: barbaric leaders, purges, cannibals and streets full of dead people.

Shortly after finishing, I was talking to Author SJ Kinkaid and she told me about a non-ficition dystopian she is reading:



I've only started Dear Leader: My Escape from North Korea  but it struck me while reading that we in the YA community have been writing dystopias, and people like Jang Jin-sung have been living them... And the real dystopias are so much more chilling than any imaginary world could be. This is one of many books I've read about North Korea lately, but this is the first from the perspective of an insider to the regime. This man truly, earnestly believed himself to be living in a utopia, with a living God presiding over it, and he comes face to face with Kim Jong Il and is shocked to realize his leader is capable of getting blisters on his feet. There's a moment when Kim Jong Il sheds a few tears hearing a moving song, and all the men about him find themselves swept into uncontrollable weeping just at the sight of that... It's difficult to imagine the sheer psychological terror gripping such a society. It's a horrific but fascinating read.

Sometimes, when it comes to dystopians, truth can be harsher than fiction.

SJ Kinkaid is the author of the Insignia series and the forthcoming The Diabolic. Follow her on twitter @SJKinkaidBooks












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Alas! O poor, poor Yorick! You shall never get the FULL amount till you're in Seventh-Heaven: you and/or I write for 10,000+ yeeers in a BigLibrary (we'd have angels bring in phood if we need it). Nevertheless, lemme fill-you-up withe avant-gardeness necessary to achieve Seventh-Heaven...

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"This finite existence is only a test, son," God Almighty told me in my coma. "Far beyond thy earthly tempest is where you'll find corpulent eloquence" (paraphrased). Lemme tella youse without d'New Joisey accent...

I actually saw Seventh-Heaven when we died: you couldn't GET any moe curly, party-hardy-endorphins, extravagantly-surplus-lush Upstairs when my beautifull, brilliant, bombastic girl passed-away due to those wry, sardonic satires.

"Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the Heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightousness as bright as stars for all eternity" -Daniel 12:3

Here's also what the prolific, exquisite GODy sed: 'the more you shall honor Me, the more I shall bless you' -the Infant Jesus of Prague.

Go git'm, girl. You're incredible. See you Upstairs. I won't be joining'm in the nasty Abyss where Isis prowls
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PS Need summore unique, unlawfull, unsymmetrical names, too? Lemme gonna gitcha started, brudda:

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Mariz Denver said...

This was a wonderful book to show the true horrors or war and the evil men can do to each other for state or religion. I highly recommend this book and afterwards for you to listen to Shostakovich’s music.

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Hyacinth Marius said...

THIS BOOK. It's a masterpiece. At once a fascinating biography, a testament to the power of music, and a riveting World War II story that I bet your teens don't know much about (I certainly didn't). Your performing arts kids, your WWII and history buffs, DON'T LET THEM MISS IT.

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