Couple of LAT scribes up for National Book Awards

Barbara Demick and Megan Stack, who are both staff correspondents in the Los Angeles Times Beijing bureau, have each picked up nominations in the non-fiction category of the National Book Awards. Demick's book is "Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea," and Stack's is “Every Man In This Village Is A Liar: An Education in War.” Memo to the Times staff from Editor Russ Stanton is after the jump.

Congratulations to Barbara Demick and Megan Stack who today were nominated as finalists in the non-fiction category of the National Book Awards.

Barbara’s book, “Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea,” is an extraordinary look at the lives of a half-dozen defectors and how they coped with vast shortages of everything we take for granted, such as food, electricity and personal freedoms, and did so under an information blackout in a police state apt to whisk them off to labor camps at the slightest provocation.

Megan’s book, “Every Man In This Village Is A Liar: An Education in War,” is a poetic meditation on the post-Sept. 11 conflicts that shook America and the rest of the world, wars in which “you can survive and not survive, both at the same time.” Its subtitle describes not only what Megan witnessed as a war correspondent, but what she learned about her country, and herself, in the process.

As you know, Barbara and Megan both work in our Beijing bureau and are part of our remarkably talented and dedicated Foreign staff. These nominations reflect our ongoing commitment to foreign news and high-quality journalism.

Further details can be found on our excellent online report on books and literature, Jacket Copy. and at the National Book Awards site,

The winners will be announced next month in New York.

Russ Stanton
Los Angeles Times

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