No Wall Too High
It was one of the greatest prison breaks of all time, during one of the worst totalitarian tragedies of the 20th Century. Xu Hongci was an ordinary medical student when he was incarcerated under Mao's regime and forced to spend years of his youth in some of China's most brutal labour camps. Three times he tried to escape. And three times he failed. But, determined, he eventually broke free, travelling the length of China, across the Gobi desert, and into Mongolia. This is the extraordinary memoir of his unrelenting struggle to retain dignity, integrity and freedom; but also the untold story of what life was like for ordinary people trapped in the chaos of the Cultural Revolution.
"Xu escapes again and again, his moral integrity seemingly unbroken...I was deeply impressed" -- Prof Frank Dikotter author of Mao's Great Famine "A fascinating story, simply and movingly told" -- Anne Thurston co-author of The Noodle Maker of Kalimpong
Xu Hongci Xu Hongci was a young Chinese medical student when he was imprisoned by Mao's regime. Over the subsequent 15 years he tried to escape three times but failed on each occasion. Finally he succeeded on his fourth attempt and travelled the length of China into Mongolia - only to be arrested and sentenced to two years in a Mongolian prison for illegally entering the country. After serving his sentence, Xu Hongci met and married a Mongolian nurse, started a family and, after Mao's death, returned to China where he died in 2008. Erling Hoh Erling Hoh is a Swedish-Chinese journalist who came across a Chinese copy of Xu Hongci's memoir in a Hong Kong library. After tracking down Xu Hongci's Chinese publisher and, eventually, his wife and children, he obtained the original manuscript that contained much richer content than the original Chinese edition. No Wall Too High is the product of Hoh's efforts to produce a fuller, more remarkable version of Hongci's life story.