[PW] Stumper: Chinese prisoner stumps guards with quotes from Chairman Mao?

Doug Anderson andersdo at acdl.info
Mon Aug 15 12:45:19 PDT 2016

A patron today brought an interesting puzzler. I've had very little luck.

She remembers reading a book, "probably in the '80s", in which a woman
named Helen Chen (*not* this one: http://www.helenchen.com/ ) was a
prisoner in China. She was the mother of a dissident, and was imprisoned as
an enemy of the state.

Whenever the guards came to torture her or execute her, she stumped them by
citing quotes from the Little Red Book that supposedly proved they couldn't
do what they were going to do without contravening Chairman Mao's orders.

Helen Chen was told that her daughter had committed suicide by throwing
herself off a tall building, but apparently there was reason to believe
that she'd been pushed.

The patron believes pretty strongly that this was nonfiction, not a novel.

Does this description of the book ring any bells with anyone? Either my
Monday Google-fu is failing me or there's not much out there that quite
matches the description she's given.

Any leads and suggestions greatly appreciated.

Douglas Anderson, Reference Coordinator
Ashtabula County District Library
4335 Park Avenue
Ashtabula, OH 44004

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