In Search of My Homeland: A Memoir About False Imprisonment
In Search of My Homeland: A Memoir of a Chinese Labor Camp chronicles Er Tai Gao’s life under the political persecution of China’s Communist government. In 1957 at the age of 22, Gao published an essay titled “On Beauty,” arguing that the nature of beauty is subjective and individual—a stance that caused him to be branded a “rightist” by the Mao regime. He was sentenced to three years in a hard labor camp in the harsh central desert. During his sentence, 90 percent of his fellow prisoners died. Over the next 30 years, Gao was sent to labor and reeducation camps several times because of his outspoken views. He was last arrested in Beijing in1989 during the Tiananmen Square protests and held for six months without charges. In 1992 he and his wife Maya escaped China through Hong Kong. They were granted political refugee status in the United States the following year.
In Search of My Homeland is the story of his imprisonment for “thought crimes” against the Communist state and his eventual escape to freedom.
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READ Er Tai Gao’s essay on Tiananmen Square that appeared in Sampsonia Way, September 2009.
READ the Los Angeles Times review of In Search of My Homeland.
READ the New York Times review of In Search of My Homeland.
IN SEARCH OF MY HOMELAND, By Er Tai Gao, translated by Robert Dorsett and David Pollard, copyright ©2009 by Er Tai Gao. Reprinted by permission of Ecco.