Review of Youha Nam, “National Center for the Preservation of Human Dignity”, Clarkesworld Issue 157, October (2019): Read Online. Reviewed by Myra Naik.
Set in a future dystopian timeline, this story focuses on acceptance, dignity and death. A world where, if you can’t pay survival tax, you’re. In effect, poor people who can’t afford it are taken to the National Center for the Preservation of Human Dignity.
When our protagonist gets the final letter asking for payment, she knows this is it. Her hours, not even days, are now numbered. The story is a peek into how she handles this, knowing her own time and manner of death.
The National Center is a place of mild luxury, for people to her to enjoy their last hours. Everyone handles this news and revelation differently, and our protagonist seeks dignity.
Her dignity is a character of the story in itself, something that she clings onto quite strongly.