Further News of Defeat: Stories
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. 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.
A Minor Revolution
When Shen’s husband, economics professor Zhou Peng, says he’s joining his students on hunger strike in Tiananmen Square, she begs him to reconsider. The army tanks are already hemming in the gathering protestors, and Shen, an illiterate woman from the countryside, understands better than the students the real threat of violent retaliation. When her predictions come true and Zhou Peng is thrown in jail and the city descends into heartrending chaos, this vulnerable young woman must find her way out of Beijing, saving her son by finding a strength she never knew she had.