Paper Republic: Chinese Literature Matters

Pen Update

By Cindy M. Carter, published

On August 7th 2008, The PEN American Center held an event in New York City in support of over 40 Chinese writers and journalists who have been detained, imprisoned, harassed or prevented from publishing their writings in China. See the PEN American website for more information about the featured authors and readings (includes audio recordings, Chinese and English texts and photos).

Although this was not included in the readings, I’d like to add this couplet by Li Rui (former secretary to Mao Zedong) written during his eight years in Beijing’s Qincheng Prison:

How does a life in letters make a prison?
I’ve surpassed my own self-criticism.


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