Tue, Nov 02, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Author expected in Taiwan to promote controversial book

TAIPEI , CNA

The author of the autobiography The Past Doesn't Disappear Like Smoke (往事並不如煙), which won an award from the literary organization PEN for independent Chinese-language writers on Saturday, will probably visit Taiwan later this month or early next month to promote her book, sources from China Times Publishing said yesterday.

Zhang Yihe (章詒和), the author of the vivid account of her personal perspective on the heart-rending history and political upheavals in China since the building of the People's Republic of China, received the PEN award in Beijing.

PEN, a collection of poets, playwrights, essayists, editors and novelists, was formed in 1921 to promote cooperation among writers.

Zhang is the daughter of Zhang Bojun (章伯鈞), one of the first ministers of Mao Zedong's (毛澤東) "new China" government, who later was persecuted as the "No. 1 rightist" in Communist China.

The book, first published in Beijing in January this year, became a sought-after item soon after Beijing announced a ban on it because the authorities did not like what the author said about the Chinese Communists during the Mao era.

Pirated copies of the book have been selling briskly around China ever since.

Taipei-based China Times Publishing has recently published a Taiwanese edition of the book, making it the third of its kind since Zhang Yihe's memoirs, written in simplified Chinese characters, was published in Beijing last year. The original copy appeared with many lines deleted or censored.

The second edition was published by Oxford University Publishing in Hong Kong this year under the title The Last Noble. Most of the missing sections were recovered in this edition.

The Taiwanese edition is published with the original title, The Past Doesn't Disappear Like Smoke, and is written in traditional Chinese characters. It is a complete, unabridged version, China Times Publishing said.

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