Amid constant talk about what the post-pandemic “new normal” might be, one event this month is one we sincerely hope will be part of a new normal. More English-language translations of literature from North Korea.

A North Korean book first published back in 1988 that topped the charts and became a TV series, has resurfaced in English translation, with state approval.

Friend, written in Korean by Paek Namnyong and translated into English by Immanuel Kim, is “a novel about love, marriage, and divorce.”

As LitHub explains,

Almost all fiction available today from North Korea was written by defectors or dissidents. Paek Namnyong is neither. A household name in North Korea, he worked first in a steel factory for ten years before enrolling at Kim Il Sung University to study literature. Paek Namnyong became part of the elite group of writers known as the April 15th Literary Production Unit. This group is devoted to writing the mythic biographies of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

Head over to LitHub for more.