My Enemies, My Teachers

Writer Liao Yiwu traveled to Beijing in December 2007 to receive the Freedom to Write Award given by the Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC) for his nonfiction works, which document the lives of some of the forgotten or ignored members of Chinese society. On the day before the award ceremony, members of the Public Security Bureau in Beijing took Liao away from his friend’s house and interrogated him for over four hours before handing him over to the police, who escorted him back to his home in Sichuan province. After the event organizer and another award recipient were placed under house arrest, the ICPC was forced to cancel the ceremony. What follows is the acceptance speech Liao had planned to deliver there.


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