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The Vagrants
The Vagrants: A Novel | Yiyun Li
1 post | 5 read | 6 to read
BONUS: This edition contains a The Vagrants discussion guide. In luminous prose, award-winning author Yiyun Li weaves together the lives of unforgettable characters who are forced to make moral choices, and choices for survival, in China in the late 1970s. As morning dawns on the provincial city of Muddy River, a spirited young woman, Gu Shan, once a devoted follower of Chairman Mao, has renounced her faith in Communism. Now a political prisoner, she is to be executed for her dissent. While Gu Shans distraught mother makes bold decisions, her father begins to retreat into memories. Neither of them imagines that their daughters death will have profound and far-reaching effects, in Muddy River and beyond. Among the characters affected are Kai, a beautiful radio announcer who is married to a man from a powerful family; Tong, a lonely seven-year-old boy; and Nini, a hungry young girl. Beijing is being rocked by the Democratic Wall Movement, an anti-Communist groundswell designed to move the country toward a more enlightened and open society, but the government backlash will be severe. In this spellbinding novel, the brilliant Yiyun Li gives us a powerful and beautiful portrait of human courage and despair in dramatic times.
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What an outstanding book! This novel tells the story of a simmering pro-Democracy rebellion in a Chinese city in the years following the Cultural Revolution. Told with an intense passion and depth, it‘s a story of loss, pain, brutality, and love. I‘ve never read anything quite like it. Find a copy and read it; it‘s worth your time. Highly recommended.