The hail of 30 paint-filled eggs, cracking and leaking across the towering portrait of Chairman Mao, caught the Tiananmen Square protestors off guard. There was condemnation and confusion. A clash of cheers and jeers accosted the three young men whose collective act defied the dictator who molded their country and their lives.
Egg on Mao pivots around that defining moment during the 1989 student protests, focusing on the life of a bus mechanic named Lu Decheng and how his frustrations growing up in a backwater Chinese town under a repressive regime led him to board a train to Beijing with his two friends to join the protests. Ultimately labeled a political instigator, Lu and his friends disappeared into the Chinese prison system and were not seen by the public again for almost 15 years. Lus release from prison and subsequent political asylum in Canada made it possible for Denise Chong to share his story of unyielding bravery and defiance.
Part biography of a gesture, part testament to the power of the individual, Egg on Mao honors the courage of protest and the remarkable momentum of change.
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Counterpoint (September 29, 2009)