The Untold Story of Mao's Great Famine


I call this book Tombstone. It is a tombstone for my foster father who died of hunger in 1959, for the 36 million Chinese who also died of hunger, for the system that caused their death, and perhaps for myself for writing this book.'

The most powerful and important Chinese work of recent years, Yang Jisheng's Tombstone is a passionate, moving and angry account of one of the 20th century's most nightmarish events: the killing of an estimated 36 million Chinese in 1958-1961 by starvation or physical abuse. More people died in Mao's Great Famine than in the entire First World War and yet their story remains substantially untold. Now, at last, they can be heard.

Based on survivors' testimonies, this book was greeted with huge acclaim when published in Hong Kong as an essential work of reckoning.

'The man who exposed Mao's secret famine' Financial Times


  • A book of great importance
    Jung Chang, author of 'Wild Swans'

About the author

Yang Jisheng

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