A NEW YORK TIMES TOP BOOK OF 2015
WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK
The author of Red Sorghum and China’s most revered and critically acclaimed novelist returns with his first major publication since winning the Nobel Prize
Before the Cultural Revolution, Gugu, narrator Tadpole’s feisty aunt, is a respected midwife in her rural community. She combines modern medical knowledge with a healer's touch to save the lives of village women and their babies. Gugu is beautiful, charismatic, and of an unimpeachable political background.
After a disastrous love affair with a defector leaves Gugu reeling, she throws herself zealously into enforcing China's draconian new family planning policy by any means necessary, be it forced sterilizations or late-term abortions. Tragically, her blind devotion to the Party line spares no one, not her own family, not even herself.
Once beloved, Gugu becomes the living incarnation of a reviled social policy violently at odds with deeply rooted social values. Spanning the pre-revolutionary era and the country's modern day consumer society, Mo Yan's tatut and engrossing examination of Chinese society will be read for generations to come.