A Tale of two Ma Jian men

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Ma Jian, basketball player and writer

I read once that Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng’s proper name, Jingsheng, means “capital birth” and isn’t uncommon as a name for boys born in Beijing.

I’m guessing that China has its equivalent of names so common that several people have them.

Years ago, there was a basketball player named Ma Jian, one of the first Chinese nationals to play college basketball in America (mid 1990s, University of Utah. I was curious as to what he’s doing now, so I googled him.

The first hit was for a Ma Jian who is a dissident writer now living in London. Highly critical of China, Jian has been denied entry into the People’s Republic of China since 2011.

Both have the same pictographs for their names: 马建.

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I’ve made two lists: non-fiction books I need to read and fiction books of the same. If I had to guess, I’d say I have around 250-500 unread books in my apartment. Hoping to dig into those. Unread book is undiscovered knowledge.

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