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Always Parting: My Life with Liu Xianbin
By Chen Mingxian, published: March 29, 2015

Editor’s note: Among Chinese dissidents and activists, this essay by Chen Mingxian (陈明先), a high school Chinese teacher in Suining, Sichuan (四川遂宁) and wife of Liu Xianbin (刘贤斌), has become a classic. Since reading it a couple of years ago, I have kept remembering it, and some of the scenes seem to have preeminently lodged in my mind. Few writings do that to me. Last fall, I finally had it translated but have not had a chance to edit it for posting until now. For some time, I have also wanted to interview a group of wives of Chinese political prisoners, but that desire has kept being pushed back because there is always something more urgent to do. Such is the lot of this community of extraordinary people: quietly they shoulder the emotional and material toll exacted on them by the absence of their husbands, caring for the old and raising the young, but they are no priority on anyone’s agenda. Liu Xianbin was a student in Renmin University (中国人民大学) in 1989......

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