The staggering story of the most important Chinese political dissident of the Mao era, a devout Christian who was imprisoned, tortured, and executed by the regime Blood Letters tells the astonishing tale of Lin Zhao, a poet and journalist arrested by the authorities in 1960 and executed eight years later, at the height of the Cultural Revolution. The only Chinese citizen known to have openly and steadfastly opposed communism under Mao, she rooted her dissent in her Christian faith - and expressed it in long, prophetic writings done in her own blood, and at times on her clothes and on cloth torn from her bedsheets.
Miraculously, Lin Zhao's prison writings survived, though they have only recently come to light. Drawing on these works and others from the years before her arrest, as well as interviews with her friends, her classmates, and other former political prisoners, Lian Xi paints an indelible portrait of courage and faith in the face of unrelenting evil.
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"China's achievements and failures are usually celebrated or condemned on the mass scale. The vivid individuality of the men and women who have fought bravely to change their nation can fade from view. Blood Letters is the most powerful antidote to that amnesia. Lin Zhao's story, nearly erased or forgotten, will live as an example of civic and personal courage to inspire people in her country and elsewhere." (James Fallows, Atlantic)
"Blood Letters is a genuinely exciting book. Lian Xi sheds a whole new light on an extraordinarily important Christian figure (and martyr) who has hitherto been utterly unknown outside a narrow band of specialists.... A masterpiece." (Philip Jenkins, author of Crucible of Faith: The Ancient Revolution That Made Our Modern Religious World)
"Lin Zhao is a great hero of the faith, a brilliant and courageous figure no less than Bonhoeffer and Solzhenitsyn, willing to give her life for the truth of God. May a thousand flowers like Lin Zhao bloom in the China of today!" (Eric Metaxas, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Bonhoeffer, If You Can Keep It, and Martin Luther)