SOURCE: Borsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V.

June 21, 2012 06:00 ET

Liao Yiwu to Receive the 2012 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade

BERLIN and FRANKFURT, GERMANY--(Marketwire - Jun 21, 2012) - The Board of Trustees of the Peace Prize of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association has chosen Chinese author Liao Yiwu to be the recipient of this year's Peace Prize. The announcement was made by Prof. Dr. Gottfried Honnefelder, chairman of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, at the start of the 2012 Buchtage Berlin (Berlin Book Days). The award ceremony will take place during the Frankfurt Book Fair on Sunday, October 14, 2012, in the Church of St. Paul in Frankfurt, Germany and be broadcast live on the German public TV channel ARD. The Peace Prize has been awarded since 1950 and is endowed with a sum of EUR 25,000.

The Board of Trustees issued the following statement with regard to their choice: "The German Publishers and Booksellers Association is awarding its 2012 Peace Prize to Liao Yiwu. In doing so, the association and its members have chosen to honor a Chinese author who continues to wage an eloquent and fearless battle against political repression and who lends a clear and unmistakable voice to the downtrodden and disenfranchised of his country. In his prose and poetry, Liao Yiwu erects an evocative literary monument to those people living on the margins of Chinese society. The author, who has experienced first-hand the effects of prison, torture and repression, is an unwavering chronicler and observer who bears witness on behalf of the outcasts of modern China. The manuscript of his work "For a Song and a Hundred Songs," in which he tells of the brute force and dehumanizing conditions in Chinese prisons, was confiscated repeatedly by authorities. In response, he rewrote it several times and was eventually able to publish it in exile. As a Volksschriftsteller ("people's author") in the most comprehensive sense of the term, Liao Yiwu is an unrelenting advocate of human dignity, freedom and democracy."

In 2012, Liao Yiwu received a one-year scholarship as part of the DAAD's Berlin artists program. At the end of the year, his latest work will be published in German under the title "Die Kugel und das Opium - Leben und Tod am Platz des Himmlischen Friedens."

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