The Reuter Society
Tuesday 1 March 2011
Anthony Grey, author and publisher, shared with members of the Society an insight into how deeply his life and beliefs had been affected by his ordeal as a hostage in Peking during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. It was a striking story. In a talk entitled “From solitary in China to publishing in the digital age”, he recalled his two-year house arrest as a defining experience that gave substance to his early ambition to become a creative writer.
It also led to a lifelong quest for spiritual values and some kind of enlightenment. This search in turn prompted Tony to establish himself as an independent publisher. His first aim was to publish alternative views rejected by the mainstream book industry, such as a controversial theory that the genesis of mankind was engineered by extra-terrestrials. Now he is pushing the boundaries of e-publishing. His inner journey meanwhile involved encounters with spiritualism, the Roman Catholic Church (briefly) and meditation in an Orthodox monastery in Essex. Serious themes, certainly, but lightly handled by a natural storyteller with a sense of humour. The session ended with an entertaining exchange of Chinese anecdotes between Tony, Peter Gregson and Michael Nelson. ■