Chinese Writer Liao Yiwu To Visit Madison

Liao Yiwu is a poet, novelist, oral historian, and musician.

Chinese poet, novelist, oral historian, and musician Liao Yiwu will read selections from his book “Corpse Walker” and play the flute at a public event at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Monday, September 26, 3-4:30 p.m. in the H.E. Deluca Forum at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 N. Orchard St.

Liao is on a U.S. tour to promote his new book, “God is Red: The Secret Story of How Christianity Survived in the Communist China” (HarperCollins, Sept. 2011). His UW-Madison visit is sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies.

In 1989, Liao was sentenced to four years in prison for his epic poem “Massacre,” condemning the Chinese government crackdown. He remains one of China’s most outspoken writers. Banned in mainland China, his works have been published abroad in translation, including “The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories, China from the Bottom Up” (Pantheon, 2008).

Since publication in Germany in July 2011, his 2004 book “Testimonials” has been on Der Spiegel’s best-seller list. Liao received a Freedom to Write Award from the Independent Chinese PEN Centre in 2007.

He has been living in Berlin, Germany, after escaping from China this summer. He wrote about his exit from China in an account published September 14 in The New York Times.

Here is an August 15 interview with Liao Yiuw in The New York Review of Books.