Ma Jian Recommends Five Books on Chinese Dissident Literature

I realised that the history of Chinese literature has often been shaped from outside of its society—by exiled writers and thinkers. From [3rd century BC Chinese poet] Qu Yuan to Confucius, the Tang dynasty to the Qing dynasty, right up to modern novels today, you find that those authors who in the end became central to Chinese culture were at the time writing from outside of their country—exiled, pushed out or banned.