Stites (b 1947) was posted to Beijing in the US Department of State before the events of June. He wrote this piece for friends outside China, to tell us what he had seen.
Shapiro (1931-1993), a long-time contributor to The New Yorker magazine, went to Asia in the late 1980s and wrote two occasional columns for that magazine: “Letter from Beijing” (1987-1990) and “Letter from Hong Kong” (1991-1992). Mr Shapiro was a wise observer and loved China and its people. His series of articles are especially important because they began almost two years before the events of 1989.06.04, and chronicle several events leading up to the catastrophe. I reprint here only the 9 June article, but anyone interested in this period of human history should consult both series of Mr Shapiro’s articles.
Mr Pomfret’s (b 1960?) 2006 book Chinese Lessons is a singular view of a generation within modern Chinese history as told through the stories of several of his Chinese classmates but also, of course, is Mr Pomfret’s own story. A remarkable book, I’ve sent copies to various friends since a note from Sheridan Prasso alerted me to its existence. You won’t learn more of modern China unless you’re Chinese and living there.
The chapter of Chinese Lessons included here concerns his experience at Tiananmen.
Ms Liang (b 1968?) has now published three books, two of which are mystery novels, and the first (Lake With No Name) is a memoir that includes her experience at Tiananmen. She went to the United States soon thereafter, and married and resides in England at present. This excerpt from her mystery Paper Butterfly cheats a bit on the theme of this site, which is dedicated to first-hand observation of the events of 1989.06.04, but although fiction, what she writes here reflects her own experience.