Writers Remember Tiananmen Square

By Jason Boog Comment

tiansquare.jpgIt’s been 20 years since the Chinese government forcibly quelled student protests in Tiananmen Square. That still picture is taken from a historic clip from the 1989 protest–viewed well over a million times on YouTube.

To remember this dark day, a number of literary blogs have special content. Three Percent released an excerpt from “Testimonial,” a memoir by Liao Yiwu–a Chinese poet jailed for writing a poem about the student movement and the Tiananmen Square crackdown. Words Without Borders has a series of essays by Tiananmen Square dissident Wang Dan.

Finally, PEN America blog has this link-filled entry: “Liao [wrote an] amazing, Studs Terkel-inspired book, The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories of China from the Bottom Up, which has recently come out in paperback. Portions of The Corpse Walker appeared in The Paris Review, which has also posted the speech Liao planned to deliver at a gathering in 2007 of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, accepting their Freedom to Write Award. He was detained en route; another award recipient and one of the event’s organizers were placed under house arrest. The event was canceled.” (Via Maud Newton)