New Book: "Blood Letters," by Prof. Xi Lian

March 15, 2018

Congratulations to Prof. Xi Lian on the publication of his newest book, Blood Letters: The Untold Story of Lin Zhao, a Martyr in Mao's China. Part biography, part history, this meticulously researched work explores the tumult of China's Cultural Revolution by following the personal journey of one young woman during a time of dramatic upheaval in the world's most populous country.

The book will be available for purchase as well as the author's signature at a launch celebration on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. in the Duke Divinity School.

Xi Lian is a Professor of World Christianity at Duke University's Divinity School. His research focuses on China's modern encounters with Christianity. His first book, The Conversion of Missionaries (1997), is a critical study of American Protestant missions against the backdrop of rising Chinese nationalism in the early twentieth century. His second book, Redeemed by Fire: The Rise of Popular Christianity in Modern China (2010), winner of the 2011 Christianity Today Book Award, examines the development of missionary Christianity into a vibrant, indigenous faith of the Chinese masses.

What reviewers are saying:
"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

From the publisher: 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.