Reviewers were clearly impressed by The Vagrants, especially noteworthy because it is Li's first novel. They valued its memorable and nuanced characters, its simultaneous severity and humor, and the way Li creates moral ambiguity without diminishing the bravery and sacrifice of Chinese dissidents. The only complaint was that Li's portrayal of the misery of Muddy River can be somewhat overwhelming; readers "may grow numbed, or more strangely (and disturbingly), inured under its assault" (San Fran...more
I am not sure how to tell the story I want to tell you. Sometimes when I think about the story, it becomes a grotesque kaleidoscope spinning with patterns and colors that startle my eyes. Sometimes I have to shut my eyes in order not to see.
And shut my mind's eye so I can stop imagining.