The Girl with Seven Names - Hyeonseo Lee - Hyeonseo Lee

The Girl with Seven Names

The Girl with Seven Names - Hyeonseo Lee Book Score: 4.5 0 5
4.5 star
617 Ratings

The Girl with Seven Names Book Summary


An extraordinary insight into life under one of the world’s most ruthless and secretive dictatorships – and the story of one woman’s terrifying struggle to avoid capture/repatriation and guide her family to freedom.

As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee was one of millions trapped by a secretive and brutal communist regime. Her home on the border with China gave her some exposure to the world beyond the confines of the Hermit Kingdom and, as the famine of the 1990s struck, she began to wonder, question and to realise that she had been brainwashed her entire life. Given the repression, poverty and starvation she witnessed surely her country could not be, as she had been told “the best on the planet”?

Aged seventeen, she decided to escape North Korea. She could not have imagined that it would be twelve years before she was reunited with her family.


‘The most riveting TED talk ever’ Oprah

‘Harrowing’ Wired

‘A sad and beautiful story of a girl who could not even keep her name, yet overcame all with the identity of what it is to be human’ Jang Jin-sung, author of ‘Dear Leader’

‘Stirring and brave … true, committed, unvarnished and honest. Lee has made her own life the keyhole to the present, inside and outside of North Korea’ Scotsman

‘Remarkable bravery fluently recounted’ Kirkus

About the author

Hyeonseo Lee grew up in North Korea but escaped to China in 1997. In 2008, after more than 10 years there, she came to Seoul, South Korea, where she struggled to adjust to life in the bustling city. Recently graduated from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, she has become a regular speaker on the international stage fostering human rights and awareness of the plight of North Koreans. She is an advocate for fellow refugees, even helping close relatives leave North Korea. Her TED talk has been viewed nearly 4m times. She is married to her American husband Brian Gleason and currently lives in South Korea.

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The Girl with Seven Names Book Comments

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The Girl with Seven Names - Hyeonseo Lee Book Reviews

  • Mind opening! (Clementine1001)

    I highly suggest this book
  • The girl with seven names. (Nancy Virginia)

    Interesting content but, I felt the writing was only mediocre.
  • The Girl with Seven Names (jmaleki5)

    Fantastic book! I was on the edge the whole time, praying everything work out for the author! LOVED the book!
  • Excellent read (ajain22)

    This book provided me a rare glimpse into such a closed country like North Korea. The struggle the author went through reminded me of how privileged some of us are to enjoy the freedom and the choice to make our own destiny.
  • The Girl with Seven Names (Barbs Sweet Pea)

    An excellent book by a wonderful, brilliant author. I couldn’t put it down. She is a truly amazing person. I learned much from her first person account of all she went through and what others go through in trying to escape North Korea.
  • The girl with seven names (sandraspinner)

    This is a very moving book about trials and tribulations of one girls quest for freedom from the North Korean brainwashing country.Very well done the way it is written and the outcome is brilliant.
  • Girl with the seven names (nelia bae)

    This book is a page turner that does not stop the reader from reading.
  • Very insightful but also a page turner (Jnlyn5)

    Seeing N. Korea and China through the experiences of every day life is both interesting and informative. The book also has qualities of an adventure story- how will the heroine overcome adversity to achieve her goals.
  • Great book (nelsoncmazsb)

    I found it hard to put this book down! Very interesting!
  • The Girl With Seven Names (Lesz88)

    I could not put this book down. The bravery and perseverance it took to live this story are usually only found in fiction. This is a clear window into North Korea, China, South Korea and Laos and how much power poverty wields in so many ways. Read this book.

Hyeonseo Lee - The Girl with Seven Names E-Book

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