Excerpt from Calgary Herald “Egging Mao“,
Egg on Mao: The Story of an Ordinary Man who Defaced an Icon and Unmasked a dictatorship by Denise Chong in now in stores.
There is something appropriate about Lu Decheng having to hear his own remarkable tale of rebellion, suffering and survival read to him by his 10-year-old son in the peaceful setting of his Calgary home.
Tony, Lu’s first-born, arrived in the city with his mother in 2007. It was one year after his father escaped from China, bringing an end to a 20-year ordeal that has cemented his reputation as one of the heroes of China’s pro-democracy movement.
When Lu arrives at the Calgary Herald for an interview to discuss a new book written about him by Ottawa author Denise Chong, Tony and his baby brother Michael are in tow.
Chatty and inquisitive, the bespectacled boy begins chattering about his school, his good marks and his preference for math.
Despite being in the country for only two years, he speaks English as flawlessly as any 10-year-old Canadian. So it was up to him to read parts of Chong’s book, Egg on Mao: The Story of An Ordinary Man Who Defaced An Icon and Unmasked A Dictatorship, to his father, who still struggles with English.
It tells the often chilling story of how Decheng and two friends threw paint-filled eggs at the towering portrait of Mao Zedong amid increasingly tense student protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989. It was a youthful act–reckless, naive and perhaps ill-advised since it plunged the now-45-year-old into a miserable nine years of imprisonment and torture.