Meet Author Seth Berkman in New Haven tonight


IT JUST CAME OUT DIFFERENTLY, SO THEY HAD TO CREATE THESE DICTIONARIES THAT HAD NORTH KOREAN, SOUTH KOREAN AND ENGLISH TERMS FOR ALL THE PLAYERS. THAT IS SO INTERESTING. WHEN YOU BECOME PART OF A TEAM, YOU COME TOGETHER IN SUCH A UNIQUE AND SPECIAL WAY TO FORM THESE FRIENDSHIPS. THIS TEAM IS OVERCOMING POLITICAL BARRIERS. DID THEY THINK ABOUT IT? AT FIRST THE SOUTH KOREAN PLAYERS WERE UPSET ABOUT THE UNIFIED TEAM HAPPENING. THE ONE PLAYER WAS 18 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME AND ATTENDS YALE NOW. SHE WAS JUST STARSTRUCK IN A WAY. SHE WAS LIKE, THEY ARE FROM NORTH KOREA, WE WILL ACTUALLY GET TO MEET THEM. SHE WAS ONE OF THE PLAYERS THAT FIRST REACHED OUT TO THE NORTH KOREAN PLAYERS AND MAKE THEM FEEL LIKE PART OF THE TEAM. WITHIN A FEW WEEKS, THE TWO SIDES WERE SINGING K-POP SONGS TOGETHER. TERESA: THE KIND OF SHARES AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT A UNIFIED KOREA WOULD LOOK LIKE. DEFINITELY. SARAH: IT ALSO GAVE A RARE LOOK INTO THE ELUSIVE NORTH KOREAN LIFE. WHAT DID YOU LEARN? THE TEAM WAS BEING FOLLOWED AROUND BY MEDIA, OLYMPIC OFFICIALS, GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. AT FIRST THE TWO SIDES DID NOT FEEL LIKE THEY COULD CREATE ANY KIND OF GENUINE BOND. ONE DAY AT LUNCH, THE TOPIC OF ICE CREAM CAME UP THE NORTH KOREAN PLAYERS WERE LIKE IN PYONGYANG WE HAVE ICE CREAM SHOPS WITH THREE DIFFERENT PLAYERS. ONE OF THE KOREAN PLAYERS KIND OF QUIPPED, IF WE TAKE THEM TO BASKIN-ROBBINS, THEY WILL DEFECT. SARAH: WERE THERE SAFETY CONCERNS? I THINK THERE WERE, AND EVEN SOUTH KOREAN PLAYERS WERE TOLD DON’T TAKE PICTURES WITH THE NORTH KOREAN PLAYERS. IT COULD GET ON SOCIAL MEDIA. TERESA: WAS THERE AN EVENT THAT STANDS OUT FOR YOU COVERING THIS? IT WOULD HAVE TO BE THE GAME AGAINST JAPAN WERE THE UNIFIED TEAM SCORED THE FIRST GOAL. YOU SAW NORTH KOREAN CHEERLEADERS, SOUTH KOREAN HUSBANDS AND WIVES EMOTIONAL AND CRYING. YOU COULD SEE THE TEAM COMING WERE THERE AS A REPORTER, BUT YOU DID NOT HAVE FULL PRESS CREDENTIALS. YOU GATHERED YOUR INFORMATION AS YOU CAN. TELL US ABOUT THE WRITING PROCESS. IT TOOK ABOUT A YEAR. ONE OF THE MORE DIFFICULT ASPECTS WAS SOUTH KOREAN PLAYERS , ABOUT HALF THE TEAM WERE COMPRISED OF TEENAGERS. IN SCHOOL, THEY LEARN ENGLISH, BUT THEY WERE SO SHY TO SPEAK. WHEN I WOULD TRY TO HAVE MORE DETAILED CONVERSATIONS, THEY WERE SHY. I WENT BACK TO KOREA AFTER THE OLYMPICS AND WAS ABLE TO HAVE LONGER INTERVIEWS WITH THE HELP OF A TRANSLATOR. TERESA: THE BOOK HAS BEEN OUT FOR ALMOST A WEEK. TONIGHT I WILL BE AT THE YIELD BOOKSTORE WITH GRACEFULLY AT 6:00. TERESA: SHE WAS A MEMBER OF THAT OLYMPIC TEAM AND IS A FRESHMAN AT YALE. SARAH: THAT IS REALLY NEAT. YOU LIVE IN NEW YORK, BUT YOU ARE HEADING TO BOSTON TOMORROW. THIS MUST EXCITING FOR YOU. IT IS MY FIRST BOOK. IN SOME OF THE DIFFERENT CITIES, SOME OF THE KOREAN AMERICAN PLAYERS LIVE THERE. TERESA: WAS THE GOAL TO ALWAYS WRITE A BOOK ABOUT THIS? ORIGINALLY IT BEGAN AS A NEWSPAPER STORY FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES. WHEN I MET THE TEAM AND STARTED TO LEARN THEIR STORIES, I KNEW THERE WAS SOMETHING MORE. IT KIND OF SIMMERED FOR A BIT. SARAH: SUCH A MEATY TOPIC. TELL US WHERE FOLKS CAN FIND OUT MORE. THEY CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION ON SET HBURKMAN.COM

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