We're making the first two stories from acclaimed writer and Chinese dissident Xiaoda Xiao’s forthcoming collection, The Visiting Suit: Stories From My Prison Life, available for free as an electronic download in Chinese.
The Visiting Suit: Stories From My Prison Life is a memoir-in-stories about the author’s five years spent in a labor prison as a counter-revolutionary.
The recent recognition of the struggle of Chinese writer and dissident Liu Xiaobo by the Nobel Committee, as well as the Chinese government’s attempts to mute the story, underlines the fact that the oppression and suppression of the Chinese population is on-going, and that Xiao’s writing of his prison experience from over a quarter-century ago is as timely as ever.
In 1971, at the age of twenty, Xiaoda Xiao was arrested for accidentally tearing a poster of Chairman Mao. Without a trial, he was declared a counter-revolutionary and sentenced to five years in a labor prison, in his case a stone quarry on West Hill Island in Taihu Lake.
By making Xiao’s work downloadable for free in Chinese, his tale will be made available to members of the population still affected by the extreme policies and daily hardships that Xiao describes who are only receiving and exposed to heavily censored news and stories.
Stories from The Visiting Suit have appeared in Guernica Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, The Atlantic Monthly, DoubleTake, Confrontation, and Antaeus. Xiao’s writing has been compared to Solzhenitsyn by the Los Angeles Times and Kafka by the Washington Post, and he has been called “a masterful storyteller” by Bookforum. The Visiting Suit has been chosen as one of the most anticipated and interesting titles of Fall 2010 by Gawker and The Huffington Post.
A limited quantity of 500 free downloads will be permitted in PDF format exclusively through WeightlessBooks (weightlessbooks.com).
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