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Banned Novelist Ma Jian Speaks at Independent Cultural Event Criticizing London Book Fair

-Shame on you London! 

Ma Jian speaks at the press conference held by the Independent Chinese PEN centre at the London Book Fair. Ma Jian believes that the only acceptable form of freedom of speech is where all books are freely available to everyone.

Amazon Best of the Month, May 2008: Like a latter-day Rip Van Winkle, a troubled young man slumbers away for ten years. While he slowly retraces the experiences that brought him into this dream state, the world around him morphs into a nearly unrecognizable place. The place is not a mountain fairyland in pre-Revolutionary America, but China at the turn of the twenty-first century. And, our story's hero is not a beleaguered farmer seeking solace among the mountains and rivers, but a promising graduate student named Dai Wei who was shot in the head during the pro-democracy protests in 1989 at Tiananmen Square. Beijing Coma is an unexpectedly visceral and daring work of fiction by critically acclaimed author Ma Jian that explores why a promising young student would risk it all in the spring of 1989. In this ingeniously constructed novel--which sets Dai Wei's internal recollections against the contemporary changes occurring beyond him--Ma Jian reveals the profound personal consequences of that historic struggle for freedom--long after the CNN cameras stopped rolling. --Lauren Nemroff --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Beijing Coma: A Novel

Who is Ma Jian? from Wikipedia

Ma Jian (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Jiàn; Wade–Giles: Ma Chien, born August 18, 1953) is a Chinese writer.

Ma was born in Qingdao on August 18, 1953. In 1986, he moved to Hong Kong after a clampdown in which some of his works were banned. In 1997 he left for Germany, followed by a move to England in 1999. He now lives in London with his partner and translator, Flora Drew.

Ma came to the attention of the English-speaking world with his story collection Stick Out Your Tongue, translated into English in 2006. The stories are set in Tibet. Their most remarked-upon feature is that traditional Tibetan culture is not idealised, but rather depicted as harsh and often inhuman; one reviewer noted that the "stories sketch multi-generational incest, routine sexual abuse and ritual rape".[1] The book was banned in China as a "vulgar and obscene book that defames the image of our Tibetan compatriots."[2]

Ma's travel memoir Red Dust: A Path Through China (2001) is about his wanderings through remote areas of China from 1983-86 as a long-haired jobless vagabond. It won the 2002 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award.

His novel Beijing Coma (2008) tells the story of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 from the point of view of the fictional Dai Wei, a participant in the events left in a coma by the violent end of the protests. The comatose narrator functions as a metaphor for the ability to remember and the inability to act.[3] It has received critical acclaim, with Tom Deveson of The Times describing it as "epic in scope but intimate in feeling … magnificent" and the Financial Times calling it “an epic yet intimate work that deserves to be recognised and to endure as the great Tienanmen novel.”

The Chinese government banned Ma from re-entering China in 2011.[4]

Red Dust: A Path Through China by Ma Jian

Chinese dissident and sometimes vagabond Ma Jian offers a sharp-edged, often surprising portrait of his native land, one that takes his readers into corners that few non-Chinese travelers have seen.

In 1983, Ma, tired of life in a China that, he writes, "feels like an old tin of beans that, having lain in the dark for forty years, is beginning to burst at the seams," grew his hair, quit his job, and took to the road. As he recounts in his able--and, at times, very strange--memoir, over the next three years he wandered into the western desert, through the mountains of Shaanxi, down the steamy southern coast, and, eventually, to Tibet. Along the way he slipped by inquisitive police agents, ate dodgy meals, fell in love a time or two, and learned much about his country--more than he bargained on, for, as he writes, "I am exhausted. China is too old, its roots too deep. I feel dirty from the delving."

Ma's travelogue, alternately humorous and sober, offers a constantly illuminating view of life behind the Great Wall. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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