Rushdie Reviews Student's Story of Tiananmen Square With AM-China, Bjt
Jun. 04, 1990
LONDON (AP) _ Novelist Salman Rushdie on Sunday praised a Chinese student's account of the Tiananmen Square repression as an important testament to ''beautiful and terrible'' events.
Rushdie, who has been in hiding since Iranian religious leaders called for his death last year for alleged blasphemy of Islam in his novel ''The Satanic Verses,'' reviewed the book ''Moving the Mountain'' by Li Lu in the weekly Independent on Sunday.
Li escaped from China one month after the army crackdown against pro- democracy students on June 3-4 last year in Beijing and is now studying in the United States. In London on Sunday he told an anniversary rally that the movement will rise again.
In his review, Rushdie recalled the collapse of communist rule in Eastern Europe last year and said this weekend's anniversary of the crackdown on the pro-democracy students in Beijing was a ''time to remember that 1989 was a year not only of miracles but of horrors as well.''
Li's book, published in London by Macmillan, tells of his boyhood during China's Cultural Revolution. He was handed over to a coal miner's family to be brought up because his parents had been denounced as intellectuals.
Li was a student at Nanjing University when he joined the students in Tiananmen Square. He became one of the leaders and just before the repression, married his girlfriend in the square. He left China but gives no details nor say if his bride went with him.
Rushdie said in his review: ''No doubt, in time, there will be calmer, less hurried responses to the appalling events of last year in Beijing. No doubt other surviviors will emerge to tell us their stories.
''But Li Lu's book, rough and ready as it is, is an important one. He is the first witness to speak, and what he witnessed was beautiful and terrible, almost - but not quite - beyond words.''
Rushdie has remained in hiding since Iranian officials pronounced the death sentence Feb. 14, 1989.