In the spring of 1989, news of the Tiananmen Square protests and their bloody resolution reverberated throughout the world. A young poet named Liao Yiwu, who had up until then lead an apolitical bohemian existence, found his voice in that moment, and, like the solitary man who stood firmly in front of a line of tanks, Liao proclaimed his outrage—only his weapon would be his words. Liao's memoir, For a Song and a Hundred Songs, captures the four dehumanizing years he spent in jail for writing the incendiary poem "Massacre." Through the power and beauty of his prose, he reveals the brutal reality of crowded Chinese prisons—the harassment from guards and fellow prisoners, the torture, the conflicts among human beings in close confinement, and the boredom of everyday life. Hailed by Philip Gourevitch as "one of the most original and remarkable Chinese writers of our time," Liao presents a stark and devastating portrait of a nation in flux, exposing a side of China that outsiders rarely ever get to see. This honest account and witness to history will forever change the way you view the rising superpower of China.