Even in the twenty-first century, the contemporary Chinese prison camp remains a more obscure and poorly understood realm than the Forbidden City of old. Apolitical service organizations such as the International Red Cross have routinely been denied access to PRC prison camps and prison camp inmates who have smuggled out frank, unofficial accounts of their incarceration have only been published overseas, and often had their sentences extended as a result.
Presenting extensive analysis of literary and biographical accounts, this illuminating book provides a window to the affective side and emotional tenor of day-to-day life in modern day labour camps. With contributions from well-known and respected scholars, the book covers the contentious issues of prison economics, prisoner 'remolding' and post-traumatic stress disorder. Drawing parallels with Soviet, Nazi and Japanese prison camp practice, this outstanding new book will be invaluable to those interested in how the human mind responds to extremity, as well as to scholars of Chinese history, politics, literature and sociology. 10 Halftones, black and white; 10 Illustrations, black and white