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Further News of Defeat - Stories

Michael X. Wang

Narrator Mark Lee

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

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Summary

Steeped in a long history of violence and suffering, Michael X. Wang’s debut collection of short stories interrogates personal and political events set against the backdrop of China that are both real and perceived, imagined and speculative. Wang plunges us into the fictional Chinese village of Xinchun and beyond to explore themes of tradition, family, modernity, and immigration in a country grappling with its modern identity. Violence enters the pastoral when Chinese villagers are flung down a well by Japanese soldiers and forced to abandon their crops and families to work in the coal mines, a tugboat driver dredges up something more than garbage polluting the Suzhou River, and rural and urban landscapes are pitted against each other when young villagers are promised high-paying work in the city but face violent persecution instead. In this world where China has regressed back to its imperial days, we meet an emperor who demands total servitude and swift punishment for attempts at revolution, and we follow a father who immigrates to the United States for a better life and loses everything in a tragic accident—aside from his estranged son—with whom he stubbornly refuses to make amends. Further News of Defeat is rich with characters who have known struggle and defeat and who find themselves locked in pivotal moments of Chinese history—such as World War II and the Tiananmen Square massacre—as they face losses of the highest order and still find cause for revival. Further News of Defeat is the winner of the 2019 Autumn House Press Fiction Prize.
Duration: about 6 hours (06:11:38)
Publishing date: 2021-04-30; Unabridged; Copyright Year: — Copyright Statment: —