In this article, Ai Xiaoming’s provides a portrait of Lin Zhao, a Peking University student who was killed during the Cultural Revolution for criticizing the “tyranny” of the Chinese Communists, and discusses Lin Zhao’s articles, poems, and portions of her prison writings. Ai believes that Lin's ideas and her eyewitness account of history constitute “important historical data for understanding Chinese society in the 20th century.” But Ai points out that not all of Lin Zhao’s prison writings have been returned by the authorities and her archive is still sealed. Ai urges the Shanghai authorities to make Lin’s archive available to researchers and the public. Ai also thinks that current study of Lin Zhao is "too simplistic," and urges researchers not to skirt the issues of Lin’s abnormal mental state and erotic fantasies.
Lin Zhao near a Tomb in Taoranting Park. Beijing, 1959.
Lin Zhao after she was released on medical parole, 1962.
The first page of Lin Zhao’s “Thought Process,” written during her first imprisonment.
First Page of Lin Zhao’s death penalty verdict.
Second Page of Lin Zhao’s death penalty verdict.
A page from the “Recommendation and Approval” of Lin Zhao’s death sentence.
Lin Zhao’s hair and ashes found by her relatives in 2000.
Ai Xiaoming in front of the Shanghai Tilanqiao Prison where Lin Zhao was held for eight years until her death at age 36, October 2012.
First page of the third letter that Lin Zhao Wrote to the People's Daily Editorial Department.
A page from the manuscript of “Souls Touching.”