WINNER OF THE 2012 GERMAN BOOK TRADE PEACE PRIZE
In June 1989, news of the Tiananmen Square protests and its bloody resolution reverberated throughout the world. A young poet named Liao Yiwu, who had until then led an apolitical bohemian existence, found his voice in that moment. Like the solitary man who stood firmly in front of a line of tanks, Liao proclaimed his outrage—and his words would be his weapon.
For a Song and a Hundred Songs captures the four brutal years Liao spent in jail for writing the incendiary poem “Massacre.” Through the power and beauty of his prose, he reveals the bleak reality of crowded Chinese prisons—the harassment from guards and fellow prisoners, the torture, the conflicts among human beings in close confinement, and the boredom of everyday life. But even in his darkest hours, Liao manages to unearth the fundamental humanity in his cell mates: he writes of how they listen with rapt attention to each other’s stories of criminal endeavors gone wrong and of how one night, ravenous with hunger, they dream up an “imaginary feast,” with each inmate trying to one-up the next by describing a more elaborate dish.
In this important book, Liao presents a stark and devastating portrait of a nation in flux, exposing a side of China that outsiders rarely get to see. In the wake of 2011’s Arab Spring, the world has witnessed for a second time China’s crackdown on those citizens who would speak their mind, like artist Ai Weiwei and legal activist Chen Guangcheng. Liao stands squarely among them and gives voice to not only his own story, but to the stories of those individuals who can no longer speak for themselves. For a Song and a Hundred Songs bears witness to history and will forever change the way you view the rising superpower of China.
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Liao Yiwu is a writer, musician, and poet from Sichuan, China. He is a critic of the Chinese regime, for which he has been imprisoned, and the majority of his writings are banned in China. Liao is the author of The Corpse Walker and God Is Red. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the prestigious 2012 Peace Prize awarded by the German Book Trade and the Geschwister-Scholl-Preis in 2011 for the publication of his memoir in Germany.Review:
"Liao began his memoir in 1990 on the backs of envelopes and scraps of paper his family smuggled into prison. He managed to sneak out his manuscript when he was released. But twice it was confiscated, and he had to reconstruct it from memory both times." —The New York Times
"A dizzying, and often gruesomely graphic, testimony of vicious brutality and indignities large and small. The title of Mr. Liao’s latest book is from the time a prison guard who heard him sing required him, as a punishment, to sing 100 songs. When Mr. Liao’s voice gave out after 20 or so songs he was severely beaten and had an electric baton shoved up his body."—The Wall Street Journal
"Poet Liao Yiwu's account of four years spent in a Chinese prison is raw and disturbing yet also a deeply human and essential read...A stirring memoir that highlights the lives of those from the bottom rungs of society." —Christian Science Monitor
"It shocks our senses, disturbs our minds, entertains us with dark humor and inspires us with examples of indomitable human dignity and decency. The book follows the best tradition of prison memoirs and presents a powerful indictment of a brutal dictatorship...[For a Song and a Hundred Songs is] destined to be a classic on its literary merits alone." —The San Francisco Chronicle
"Mr. Liao is a poet...with a poet's observant eye and soaring imagination. For a Song and a Hundred Songs is a compelling and harrowing read, full of details about the laogai system and stuffed with portraits of those subjected to it, from politically naive and idealistic students and Christians to murderers, rapists, thieves and embezzlers." —The New York Times, Arts section
"Outraged by violent suppression of the democracy movement, a poet incarcerated for his art offers a harrowing look inside China. Liao’s powerful memoir makes clear that while China is eager to thrust upon its head the heavy crown of a world superpower, its flesh is riddled through with corruption and cannot bear the weight." —Washington Independent Review of Books
"This is not a book about dissidents but rather a powerful, beautifully written memoir describing the lives and personalities of those living near the bottom of an unforgiving society. One of the strongest China books of the past few years." —South China Morning Post
"Liao does not consider himself a political writer. Instead, he believes he is merely a chronicler of truth, of people’s stories." —Epoch Times
"The sheer drama of Liao Yiwu’s odyssey—from poet to prisoner Number 099 to one of China’s most acclaimed writers-in-exile—is matched only by the journey that brought this book to publication. The memoir of his four years in prison is riveting, painful testimony—a vital new chapter in the story of China’s rise." —Evan Osnos, staff writer at The New Yorker
"Liao’s work is an amazing testament to the people who are battling the Chinese police state." —Kirkus Reviews
"Reminiscent of Jung Chang’s Wild Swans in its outspokenness, this book offers a frightening reminder of China’s human rights abuses. Liao has succeeded in writing a sensitive and lyrical account focusing on both the cruelty and the heartwarming experiences of his prison years." —Library Journal
"This vivid and lyrical memoir, a future classic, should have wide appeal as a consummate insider account of Chinese state terror." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"At once brutal and brutally funny. Liao's meticulous portrait of the societal microcosm between cell walls—replete with its cast of foreign ministers, chairmen, scholars, and counter-revolutionaries—reads like a hybrid of Swift and Orwell." —Slate
"Chinese poet and musician Liao Yiwu recounts the unflinching tale of his impassioned dissidence. An incendiary exposé and fitting follow-up to God Is Red." —Booklist
"Wenguang Huang's translation of For a Song and a Hundred Songs brings a new voice and story to a larger tradition. The prose moves between straightforward, no-nonsense accounting of fact and event, which makes for a quick, page-turning reading, and a neat, keen attention to all details." —Three Percent, University of Rochester
"One of the most important documents of political imprisonment and torture about China ever written." —The Daily Beast
"For a Song and a Hundred Songs documents how a poet’s soul descends into the body of a dissident...The book abounds with tender moments of unfailing empathy. China could take a lesson from Liao Yiwu, if it at all understands or cares about the meaning of dignity." —Beijing Cream
"Courageous and powerful. Unforgettable." —Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans and co-author of Mao: the Unknown Story
"For a Song and a Hundred Songs opens our eyes....[it is] a book of tremendous literary force. The author’s linguistic prowess renders it disturbingly cold and invitingly warm, angry and charismatic at once." —Herta Muller, recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature and author of The Hunger Angel "One of the most original and remarkable Chinese writers of our time." —Philip Gourevitch, author of The Ballad of Abu Ghraib
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Descripción New Harvest. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0547892632 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.0218043