Chinese dissident writer Liao Yiwu wins major German literary prize

liao-yiwu-200.jpgLiao Yiwu, the outspoken Chinese dissident and writer, has won a top German literary prize.

The German book publishers' association named Liao Thursday as the winner of its annual Peace Prize. Previous winners of the $31,700 award, to be handed over during the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, include Orhan Pamuk and Mario Vargas Llosa.

Liao has been living in Germany since 2011, saying he was warned by Chinese authorities that if he published anything overseas again he would be sent to prison. He spent four years in jail after publishing a poem titled Massacre about the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

The book association described Liao as someone who "protests undauntedly against political repression and gives the disenfranchised of his country a voice that can be heard far away."

Liao's 2002 book The Corpse Walker, is a collection of interviews with ordinary Chinese citizens from the margins of society. He has also published poetry criticizing the Chinese government and the political system.

- With files from The Associated Press

Dispatches ran this profile of Liao Yiwu by correspondent Saroja Coelho last year.

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