Lisa's Reviews > The Vagrants

The Vagrants by Yiyun Li
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's review
May 26, 12

Read from May 17 to 26, 2012

I read "The Vagrants" for a class on women's issues as seen through literature and film. Had I not needed to read it in order to participate in class discussion, I probably would have stopped reading it at some point. "The Vagrants" while beautifully well written, is a very difficult read. The story takes place in China right after the end of the Cultural Revolution and shows the interactions among an array of characters as they witness and react to a Denunciation Hearing just before a young woman is being hung for counterrevolutionary activities. The people in the town for the most part, are desperately poor, and every day is a fight for survival. Several characters in the story are privileged members of the Communist Party showing that Orwell was correct in predicting that some pigs would be more equal. After getting to know all the characters, the story takes on a chilling affect and is hard to put down. This book is not for the weak of heart. Read it at your own risk.
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