In 2000, Gao Xingjian, author of the acclaimed Soul Mountain, became the first Chinese writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. It was a stormy accolade. During the nightmare of the Cultural Revolution, Gao spent five years in a Maoist political re-education camp, and in 1989 was received in France as a political refugee. The implications of awarding the Nobel laureateship to a Chinese exile living in Paris were a clear rebuke to China's ambitions toward international cultural legitimacy, a demonstration of global misgivings at Beijing's failure to come to terms with its totalitarian view of human rights after the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989.
"Talking with Gao Xingjian in Brussels,"
Culture Mandala: The Bulletin of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies:
1, Article 1.
Available at: http://epublications.bond.edu.au/cm/vol9/iss1/1