My Three and a Half Slaves and I, Min Heshun, 2005
In Chinese University professor Min Heshun was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of “counterrevolutionary incitement” after taking part in the 1989 Tiananmen protests. While in prison, he took a sociologist’s investigative approach to his experience, gathering materials and making observations in preparation for writing a book. My Three and a Half Slaves and I is the first in what is to be a three-part series of books regarding his imprisonment.
Broken Dreams at Weiming Lake, Chen Fengxiao, 2005 In Chinese
Beijing University graduate and author Chen Fengxiao spent 15 years in the Laogai after being convicted as a “counterrevolutionary rightist” at the age of 22. Chen, who survived many brushes with death in the Laogai, has tried to suppress the terrible memories of his imprisonment, but with this book he has once again taken up his pen to record the social ugliness and evil under the despotic rule of Mao Zedong
In the Red Ocean I Remember, Zeng Shirong, 2006 In Chinese
Author Zeng Shirong was born in 1938 in Guangdong Province to a family categorized as “rich farmers” by the Communist Party. As a child, Zeng endured violent land reform campaigns as well as the campaign to “suppress counterrevolutionaries,” and he witnessed mass murder and famine during the Great Leap Forward. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for writing a letter to the Kuomintang Nationalist Party in Taiwan describing his persecution. This book gives a vivid description of the devastating early years of Communist Party rule such as Land Reform, the Anti-Rightist Campaign and the “Four Clean-ups” Movement.
The Voice that Remembers, Ama Adhe, 2006 In Chinese
Ama Adhe was born in 1932 in Nyarong town in the Kang area of Tibet (today Xinlong County in Sichuan Province). She and her family suffered greatly during the 1950 Chinese invasion of Tibet. While fighting in the resistance movement, Adhe lost her father, husband, son, mother-in-law, brother-in-law and other relatives. She spent nearly 30 years prison where she was often tortured and almost died several times. Yet, despite Adhe’s past hardships, she has remained a person full of integrity, kindness, and tolerance.
China's Number One Crime, Qin Geng, 2006 In Chinese
Qin Geng was imprisoned for political reasons during the June 4th Democracy Movement in 1989. His book is a first-hand account of prison life with a unique voice. He recounts his experiences as a person considered to be on the bottom rung of society with a humorous yet compassionate tone. There are no heroes, no dramatic stories of bloodshed and tears, just a realistic reportage of everyday prison life in China.
China's Bastille, Li Guiren, 2007 In Chinese
Li Guiren is an activist imprisoned for participating in the June 4th Democracy Movement in Tiananmen Square. He received a five-year sentence after the crackdown on the movement. This book, in which Li equates China’s prison system to a modern-day Bastille, is not only an account of his prison experiences but also includes many of his literary essays and commentaries.
My Fall from Leningrad University to Xinzhao Prison, Zhang Yidong, 2007 In Chinese
Zhang, a young and promising Chinese doctoral student studying in St. Petersburg, had just married a Russian girl whom he loved. However, they were forced to separate in 1957 when the “Anti-Rightist Movement” began in China and he was called back to his homeland. Soon after, Zhang’s dreams of scholarly pursuits and of love quickly faded. After teaching Russian at a middle school for a decade during the Cultural Revolution, he was accused of being a “counterrevolutionary” and sentenced to 20 years in prison. His experiences represent the hardships endured by regular citizens during Mao’s cruel campaigns.
My Turbulent Life and Times at Beijing University, Wang Shuyao, 2007 In Chinese
For 21 years Wang suffered in prison camps, guilty of being a “rightist” during the government’s Anti-Right Campaign in 1957. His fascinating story describes how his participation in the student led “May 19th Movement” at Beijing University immediately made him a target of the crackdown. Wang was finally arrested after he published an article criticizing the Communist Party and warning that Stalinism could also occur in China. Today the author still resides in Beijing; he is a retired economist and tax specialist.
A Bittersweet Life for an American Chinese, Peter Tang, 2007 In Chinese
Imprisoned for 15 years, Tang recounts how as a shipbuilding student he was falsely accused of being a part of a group of young men who planned to flee China. In the Laogai he was forced to work in quarries, a grueling and difficult task. In 1979 Tang was rehabilitated and came to the US. Working many menial jobs to survive, including a stint as a butler, chauffeur, and cook for an American family, Tang was determined to lead a fulfilling life without political persecution.
The Tragedy at Jiabiangou, Xu Zhao, 2008 In Chinese
During the “Anti-Rightist Campaign,” over 3,000 members of the intelligentsia in Gansu Province were sent to Jiabiangou Laogai Farm, 80% of whom perished from hunger and exhaustion. Their remains were left in the desert and have never been found. The author interviewed some of the survivors over the course of two decades.
My Life as a Pawn in Mao’s Political Game, Hu Xianzhong, 2008 In Chinese
When he was a young student, Hu Xianzhong proclaimed the innocence of condemned “rightist” Hu Feng, for which he was subsequently labeled a member of the “Hu Feng Anti-Party Clique” and sent to the Laogai for 23 years. Having been “rehabilitated” in 1980, Mr. Hu, now a retired economist, continues to live in China.
Tear Drops from the Land of Snow Ghang Lhamo 2009 In Chinese
This work tells the story of a female Tibetan university student who was kidnapped and thrown into a detention center by Chinese police, where she was tortured and accused of politically “deluding” others. After serving three years in prison, Ghang Lhamo worked as a teacher in an orphanage before later fleeing to Dharamsala, where she lives and works today.
Meditations, Essays by Yang Zili Yang Zili, 2009 In Chinese
In 2003, eight young people formed an informal study group in Beijing to discuss the possibility of democratic reforms in China. For this, they were later arrested and accused of “inciting the subversion of State power.” Four members of the group were convicted and received sentences ranging from eight and ten years in prison. One of them, Yang Zili, was released in March 2009 after serving eight years. This book is a collection of his articles, most of which were written before he was imprisoned. In his writings, Yang reflects on the social and political problems that China has been faced with over the last two decades owing to the turbulence of its rapid economic reforms.