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Belle Yang[Ma Jian's] masterful new novel, Beijing Coma, is informed by his return in 1989 to take part in Democracy Spring. The hero, a student named Dai Wei, is an eyewitness to the killing of his friends in the early morning hours of June 4, 1989, by the People's Liberation Army, which was ordered by the government to put down pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square…Ma Jian, who now lives in London with his translator and partner, Flora Drew, offers the Chinese people an avenue through which to retrieve their souls and emerge from their collective coma. He gives us two choices: remain society's slaves or lose everything and find freedom. This book, inevitably, will be banned in China, but smuggled and pirated Chinese editions will be read avidly there.
—The Washington Post