Laogai Research Foundation


Harry Wu, author of Laogai: The Chinese Gulag (1992), Bitter Winds (1994), and Troublemaker (1996), presents his first-ever Chinese language book, an autobiography that spans his entire life, including his controversial imprisonment in 1995. According to Wu, during his 19 years in China’s Laogai, “I went through an era of cultural self-destruction, an era when humanity disappeared. This was a time when lies and rumors were regarded as truth.”




Ye Shaohua was accused of “collaborating with overseas enemies” after expressing his wish to travel overseas and unite with family members in a letter sent to a relative in the U.S. Ye was labeled a “counterrevolutionary” and sentenced to 15 years in the Laogai. In this book, Ye describes the cruel treatment he endured in Laogai camps in Hainan and Hubei provinces, treatment which became worse after his three failed attempts at escape.




Chen Wenli grew up in a well-to-do, Westernized family. After graduating from high school in the 1950s, he joined the PLA and performed executions. During the Cultural Revolution, Chen was sentenced to 15 years for listening to foreign radio broadcasts. In jail, he was forced to make false confessions to avoid execution.


Huang Zhan was arrested after the Communists took power in 1949 and sentenced to 15 years in the Laogai in the remote northeast area of Beidahuang. During his time there, he escaped death numerous times - narrowly escaping a death sentence, living through a terrible famine, and surviving blizzards and encounters with wild animals. Huang was not truly freed until 1979.

作者黄湛出生于云南一个显赫的家族,父亲是辛亥革命功臣。中共建政后,他兄弟几个都被劳改,有的惨死在劳改营裡。黄湛被判15年并送北大荒劳 改。刑满后被迫留场就业,后又下放农村,前后30年。作者在最幽暗的漫漫长夜之中,也没有被邪恶战胜,始终保持着作为人的基本良知,犹如暗夜中的一星荧光。


An extraordinary autobiography of Chinese Democratic Party (CDP) founder Xu Wenli. A participant in the Beijing Spring movement, Xu was arrested in 1981 for creating the April Fifth Forum, a small publication. I Shed My Blood contains a collection of Xu’s prison poetry and political essays. Xu was arrested again in 2002. He is now a scholar at Brown University.

Bitter Winds: A Memoir of My Years in China’s Gulag

In April 1960 Chinese Communist authorities arrested Harry Wu. The son of a well-to-do Shanghai banker, he was cast into a Laogai prison labor camp. Though never formally charged or tried, he spent the next 19 years in a hellish netherworld of grueling labor, systematic starvation, and torture. Bitter Winds is the powerful story of Harry Wu’s imprisonment and survival, and of extraordinary acts of courage. In stunning detail, Wu recalls life in the Laogai—scavenging barren fields for frogs and snakes, and engaging in elaborate “food imagining” sessions in the barracks at night.