It was only in July this year, Liao Yiwu paid himself into the hands of smugglers on the border of Yunnan and, arriving at Tegel Airport in Berlin, escaped China. A peculiar thought, someone would escape China as did during the Cold War, defectors. I imagine a defector to be someone like Nureyev, or from China, Li Cunxin – something that happened in the past of superpowers, but not today when China is so inextricably bound in world affairs. Or rather, we in China.
Liao Yiwu’s The Corpse Walker – Real-Life Stories, China from the Bottom Up was one of my picks of 2008, and remains so. I haven’t found another contemporary Chinese writer who comes close to his brilliance – perhaps Ai Weiwei as an artist is though. I also wanted to read his book on his time in prison, though being only in German at the moment, shall be a task for my german improvement.
God is Red – The secret story of how Christianity survived and flourished in Communist China, is somewhat conflicting for me to want to read, as I don’t really have an interest in Christianity. However, being Liao Yiwu, of course it’s now beside my bed.