Liu Binyan, one of China’s leading writers, is currently a Director of the Princeton China Initiative in Princeton, New Jersey. His most recent book in English is A Higher Kind of Loyalty: A Memoir. (October 1998)

IN THE REVIEW

A Great Leap Backward?

Zhongguo de xianjing [China's Pitfall]

by He Qinglian
Most of the good news from China during the Deng Xiaoping era concerned the country’s economy. It grew at an average annual rate of 10 percent from 1981 to 1991, and 12 percent from then until 1995. Average personal income more than tripled in the 1980s, and doubled again in …

Living in Truth

The Courage to Stand Alone: Letters from Prison and Other Writings

by Wei Jingsheng
Here is a country where the skulls of the young come cheap: in 1979, an innocent twenty-nine-year-old named Wei Jingsheng, who did no more than advocate democracy, is shipped to prison for fifteen years, and nobody finds the event especially surprising.

An Unnatural Disaster

Lishi de yibufen (A Part of History)

by Zheng Yi

Hongse Jinianbei (Red Memorial)

by Zheng Yi
It took twenty-four years for the news of the shocking facts about cannibalism in China’s Guangxi Autonomous Region in southern China to reach the ears of the world. Most of the Chinese people know nothing of the truth even today. Similarly the grim truth about China’s great famine of the …