Lost in the Long March
by Michael X. Wang
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Pub Date 01 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 01 Nov 2022
ABRAMS, The Overlook Press
China, 1934: A naive orphan and shy gunsmith, Ping, has fallen in love with Yong, who is a sophisticated veteran, a skilled marksman, and a true believer in Marxist ideology. Winning her affections will take an ideological battle—something he does not understand. To make matters worse, Yong has shown interest in Ping’s best friend, Luo. On the eve of a great Communist defeat, Ping sabotages Luo’s rifle, causing the bullet to backfire into his friend’s head. The army begins its year-long retreat, known as The Long March, and Yong turns to Ping for comfort and companionship. Ping deeply regrets killing his friend, and as his relationship with Yong blossoms, he is saddened that it will always be colored by guilt.
Yong soon becomes pregnant. She hates the way the baby inside is changing her, both physically and emotionally. The Red Army can’t retreat with a crying infant, so they need to find someone close to take the baby in. Ping and Yong leave their son with a woman, promising to return once the war is won. When World War II breaks out and Japanese soldiers arrive, their 12-year-old son decides to enlist in the Japanese army to find his parents, though he quickly begins to fear for his life . . .
Deeply moving and brilliantly written, Michael X. Wang's Lost in the Long March is an exploration of how the history of a country is always its people, though their stories are often the first to be lost.
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