The Washington Post published a piece on the front of its Style section today that I adapted from chapters 2 and 3 of Out of Mao’s Shadow. It tells the tale of Hu Jie, the air force officer turned documentary filmmaker who devoted five years of his life to recovering and recording the remarkable story of a young woman who was imprisoned during the Anti-Rightist Campaign and executed during the Cultural Revolution. The woman, Lin Zhao, an obscure poet, continued writing while in prison, using her own blood as ink, and the party saved her writings to use as evidence against her. Hu was determined to find the writings.
I participated in an online discussion about the article here. One reader asked where to find more about Hu Jie and Lin Zhao, and I neglected to plug my own book. Because of space limitations, the piece in the Post tells only a small part of the story — there’s much more in the book!
Earlier this month, the New Republic published another piece that I adapted from another chapter, about Jiang Yanyong, the elderly surgeon who exposed the government’s cover-up of the SARS epidemic and then tried to force the party to confront the truth of the Tiananmen massacre too. Again, there’s much more about Dr. Jiang in the book.