Krys Lee's first novel, How I Became A North Korean (Viking), dramatizes boundaries and borders – not just political ones but those that complicate human relationships. The novel's pregnant heroine escapes North Korean, crossing to China where she does whatever is necessary to survive. A privileged young man suffers the assassination of his powerful father and also flees to North Korean. A young gay Chinese-American runs away from humiliation and being exposed. Lee juggles the voices of these characters as the novel explores a triad of love, sex and violence. Lee wants readers to make a leap of the imagination into pondering the mystery of human identity.