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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.