The Journey of Liu Xiaobo: From Dark Horse to Nobel Laureate

Potomac. Apr. 2020. 464p. ed. by ed. by Joanne Leedom-Ackerman & others. ISBN 9781640122246. $36.95. BIOG
Liu Xiaobo (1955–2017), writer, human rights activist, and Nobel laureate, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2009 for cowriting the Charter 08 manifesto that called for democracy in China. Novelist Leedom-Ackerman (The Dark Path to the River), with historian Yu Zhang, librarian Jie Li, and author Tienchi Martin-Liao, here compile a collection of essays about Liu’s life and legacy, written by numerous activists, artists, leaders, scholars, and writers from around the world, such as contemporary artist and human rights activist Ai Weiwei and the Dalai Lama. The touching and thought-provoking essays reveal the profound impact Liu had in China and beyond. There are also useful resources in the appendix, including a chronology of the major events of Liu’s life, the Charter 08 document, and biographical information for each of the contributors.
VERDICT Highly recommended for those interested in the life of Liu Xiaobo, recent Chinese history, or the global fight for human rights and democracy. Readers of this work should also consider Liu’s No Enemies, No Hatred: Selected Essays and Poems.
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