Blaine Harden’s most recent book is Escape From Camp 14. An international bestseller translated into 27 languages, it’s the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only person born in a N. Korean prison camp to escape to the West. The book and Shin’s testimony pushed the United Nations to create a Commission of Inquiry, which concluded in 2014 that N. Korea has committed crimes against humanity. The commission has asked the UN Security Council to send its findings to the International Criminal Court for a trial that would hold N. Korea’s leaders accountable.
Escape won the 2112 Grand Prix de la Biographie Politique, a French literary award, and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. It also inspired a segment about Shin on 60 Minutes.
Blaine is working on a second book about North Korea, and contributes to Foreign Policy and The Economist. For 28 years, he worked for The Washington Post as a correspondent in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia, as well as in New York and Seattle. For four years, he was a local and national correspondent for The New York Times and a writer for the Times Magazine.
Here are four print interviews with Blaine about Escape from Camp 14 and about his thoughts on writing and North Korea. Yonsei Journal of International Studies — an extended interview with Adam Cathcart, editor-in-chief of Sink-NK website. The Spectator (London). Bookgeeks (London). Asian Literary Review (Hong Kong). And an hour-long television interview with C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb on Q & A.
Blaine is also the author of A River Lost. It’s about well-intentioned Americans (including the author’s father) who dammed and degraded the West’s greatest river, the Columbia. An updated and revised edition of A River Lost was published by Norton in 2012 to coincide with a PBS American Experience program about Grand Coulee Dam and the Columbia River. Blaine and the book are featured on the program.
Blaine’s first book, Africa: Dispatches from a Fragile Continent, was described by The Independent (London) as the “best contemporary book on Africa.” Order
Journalism awards include the Ernie Pyle Award for coverage of the siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War, the American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for Nondeadline Writing (stories about Africa), and the Livingston Award for International Reporting (stories about Africa).
Blaine lives in Seattle with his wife Jessica and their two children, Lucinda and Arno.