- acquired and edited - 

For a Song and a Hundred Songs: A Poet's Journey Through a Chinese Prison by Liao Yiwu, translated by Wenguang Huang

*Winner of the 2012 German Book Trade Peace Prize*

*Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2013*

*Christian Science Monitor Best Nonfiction Books of 2013*

"Liao began his memoir in 1990 on the backs of envelopes and scraps of paper his family smuggled into prison. He managed to sneak out his manuscript when he was released. But twice it was confiscated, and he had to reconstruct it from memory both times." The New York Times

"A dizzying, and often gruesomely graphic, testimony of vicious brutality and indignities large and small. The title of Mr. Liao’s latest book is from the time a prison guard who heard him sing required him, as a punishment, to sing 100 songs. When Mr. Liao’s voice gave out after 20 or so songs he was severely beaten and had an electric baton shoved up his body." The Wall Street Journal

"Poet Liao Yiwu's account of four years spent in a Chinese prison is raw and disturbing yet also a deeply human and essential read…A stirring memoir that highlights the lives of those from the bottom rungs of society." Christian Science Monitor

"It shocks our senses, disturbs our minds, entertains us with dark humor and inspires us with examples of indomitable human dignity and decency. The book follows the best tradition of prison memoirs and presents a powerful indictment of a brutal dictatorship...[For a Song and a Hundred Songs is] destined to be a classic on its literary merits alone." The San Francisco Chronicle

"Mr. Liao is a poet…with a poet's observant eye and soaring imagination. For a Song and a Hundred Songs is a compelling and harrowing read, full of details about the laogai system and stuffed with portraits of those subjected to it, from politically naive and idealistic students and Christians to murderers, rapists, thieves and embezzlers."The New York Times, Arts section

"Outraged by violent suppression of the democracy movement, a poet incarcerated for his art offers a harrowing look inside China. Liao’s powerful memoir makes clear that while China is eager to thrust upon its head the heavy crown of a world superpower, its flesh is riddled through with corruption and cannot bear the weight." Washington Independent Review of Books

"This is not a book about dissidents but rather a powerful, beautifully written memoir describing the lives and personalities of those living near the bottom of an unforgiving society. One of the strongest China books of the past few years." South China Morning Post

"The sheer drama of Liao Yiwu’s odyssey—from poet to prisoner Number 099 to one of China’s most acclaimed writers-in-exile—is matched only by the journey that brought this book to publication. The memoir of his four years in prison is riveting, painful testimony—a vital new chapter in the story of China’s rise." —Evan Osnos, staff writer at The New Yorker

"Liao’s work is an amazing testament to the people who are battling the Chinese police state." Kirkus Reviews

"Reminiscent of Jung Chang’s Wild Swans in its outspokenness, this book offers a frightening reminder of China’s human rights abuses. Liao has succeeded in writing a sensitive and lyrical account focusing on both the cruelty and the heartwarming experiences of his prison years." Library Journal

"This vivid and lyrical memoir, a future classic, should have wide appeal as a consummate insider account of Chinese state terror." Publishers Weekly, starred review

"At once brutal and brutally funny. Liao's meticulous portrait of the societal microcosm between cell walls—replete with its cast of foreign ministers, chairmen, scholars, and counter-revolutionaries—reads like a hybrid of Swift and Orwell." Slate 

"One of the most important documents of political imprisonment and torture about China ever written." The Daily Beast

"For a Song and a Hundred Songs opens our eyes….[it is] a book of tremendous literary force. The author’s linguistic prowess renders it disturbingly cold and invitingly warm, angry and charismatic at once." —Herta Muller, recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature and author of The Hunger Angel

"One of the most original and remarkable Chinese writers of our time." —Philip Gourevitch, author of The Ballad of Abu Ghraib