Banned books and other forms of censorship

On the banning of books, censorship and other freedom of access issues

Monday, May 26, 2008

Chinese dissident writers interviewed

The Washington Post interviews dissident writers Ma Jian, 54, Xiaolu Guo, in its May 25 edition; both of them now living in London. Ma comments that his "work has been banned in China since my first book about Tibet, Stick Out Your Tongue[1985], became the target of an enormous government campaign in which all copies were destroyed." He is able to visit China but not able to write or speak out there. Guo, who is also a flimmaker, says: "film censorship is much stricter than literary censorship. There are only 200 official films a year, so none of my films has been shown there. My art criticism and film theory were received all right, and my two latest novels [ 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth and A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers] will be published there soon. I'm not sure if the sex will be censored." See also Los Angeles Times, for a review of Ma's book, Beijing Coma, about a survivor of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement, who is "lying in a coma, a bullet in his brain. A piece of his skull remains in the hospital refrigerator; soft spongy skin has grown over the wound. He is blind, mute and paralyzed but still able to hear. From his bed, he recalls his youth and the 1989 occupation of Tiananmen Square, where he was shot."

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