This evening I finished reading 走出白色恐怖 (Farewell to the White Terror) by 孫康宜 (Sun Kang-i). As I mentioned earlier, her father was arrested and jailed for 10 years. He was imprisoned in 1950, when Sun was six years old. He spent some time imprisoned on the infamous Green Island and then was moved to a military prison in Xindian (新店) in 1953, where he spent the rest of his 10 years of imprisonment. Sun's father was jailed because of some relatives who were members of an anti-KMT organization (though he was not a part of that--one of Sun's uncles, however, was involved in the Luku Incident [鹿窟事件] of 1952). Sun's father actually got out after 10 years, which was not by any means guaranteed at that time, but his health was affected by the experience (he got tuberculosis).
But Sun's book, as she emphasizes, is not "accusatory literature" (控訴文學) or "scar literature" (傷痕文學, also translated as "literature of the wounded"), but rather a book about gratitude. She thanks family members who took her, her mother, and her brothers in when her father was jailed; she thanks a teacher (Mr. Lan) who helped her family, even taking in her brother when her mother had to stay in the hospital for a while; she even thanks a rickshaw driver who took her family from the Xindian bus station to the military prison and refused to accept her mother's money for the trip because of his sympathy for the family's plight. In fact, most of the essays that make up Farewell (many of which have been previously published in various magazines and newspaper literary supplements) are organized around a person or group of people to whom Sun wants to express gratitude for their help during her family's time of need.
Part of the reason for this "literature of gratitude" comes, I'm sure, from Sun's deeply held religious beliefs. As a Christian, Sun wants to demonstrate how God led her family through the difficult circumstances of their lives during their time of suffering. One of the most difficult issues that many Christians (or any believers in a religious faith, I imagine) are asked about or have to face themselves regards why people suffer. While Sun's book is not a theological treatise on the roles of evil and suffering in the world, one gets the impression that she might view suffering as one way through which people can have the opportunity to help one another (and have the opportunity to be helped by others).