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 Shan’s distraught mother makes bold
decisions, her father begins to retreat into memories. Neither of them imagines
that their daughter’s 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. Download and start listening now!