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'The Tiananmen tragedy was a defining moment in 20th century history, but in China, no one is allowed to discuss it. Remembering has become a crime. Today, the Chinese are a people who ask no questions, and who have no past. They live in a coma, blinded by fear and newfound prosperity.' -- Ma Jian
4 June 1989 is a date writ in blood. It was on that day that the People's Liberation Army rolled into Tiananmen Square with tanks and massacred peaceful protesters. In China, the date and what happened on that day has been wiped from the collective memory.
Ma Jian was an eye witness to these events. He believes that it is important to keep these memories alive, and he has done so by the means of a novel, Beijing Coma.
Dai Wei was a student in the square, shot in the back of the head with a bullet. He lies in a coma. It is through his thoughts we learn what happened on that fateful day.
I had the honour of meeting Ma Jian at the Guildford Book Festival 2009. [see Eyewitness account of Tiananmen Square]
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway [see BCID 7302554]
The Visible World by Mark Slouka [see BCID 7064697]