As a fearless poet and prolific essayist and critic, Liu Xiaobo became one of the most important dissident thinkers in the People’s Republic of China. His nonviolent activism steered the nation’s prodemocracy currents from Tiananmen Square to support for Tibet and beyond. Liu undertook perhaps his bravest act when he helped draft and gather support for Charter 08, a democratic vision for China that included free elections and the end of the Communist Party’s monopoly on power. While imprisoned for “inciting subversion of state power,” Liu won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. He was granted medical parole just weeks before dying of cancer in 2017.
The Journey of Liu Xiaobo draws together essays and reflections on the “Nelson Mandela of China.” The Dalai Lama, artist and activist Ai Weiwei, and a distinguished list of leading Chinese writers and intellectuals, including Zhang Zuhua, the main drafter of Charter 08, and Liu Xia, the wife of Liu Xiaobo, and noted China scholars, journalists, and political leaders from around the globe, including Yu Ying-shih, Perry Link, Andrew J. Nathan, Marco Rubio, and Chris Smith illuminate Liu’s journey from his youth and student years, through his indispensable activism, and to his defiant last days. Many of the pieces were written immediately after Liu’s death, adding to the emotions stirred by his loss.
Original and powerful, The Journey of Liu Xiaobo combines memory with insightful analysis to evaluate Liu’s impact on his era, nation, and the cause of human freedom.