Longreads Guest Pick: Margaret Ely on 'Dear Leader Dreams of Sushi'

Margaret Ely is a web producer and reporter for The Washington Post.

Maybe I was hungry and saw the word “sushi” in the headline, but I was hooked the moment I started reading Adam Johnson’s bizarre, outlandish story about a Japanese chef who served North Korea’s supreme, “dear leader” Kim Jong-il. While it’s known that the dear leader had lavish habits and ruled with a firm grip on his country and confidants, Johnson also does a fantastic job of keeping the focus on the chef, who uses the alias Kenji Fujimoto. Fujimoto himself is a complicated character, a man who was willing to leave his family in Japan for an extravagant but dangerous life as one of Jong-il’s cronies. There are parties, death threats, beautiful women, Mercedes-Benzes, and more. It’s a great read.

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