Further News of Defeat

By Michael X. Wang,

Book cover of Further News of Defeat: Stories

Book description

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…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Further News of Defeat as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I cannot think of a more perfect title for Michael Wang’s Further News of Defeat. Imminent loss haunts the edges of each story, ready to pounce on Wang’s indelible characters. In America, we’re often uncomfortable with this kind of storytelling. We prefer our characters to be redeemed, to either prevail over calamity or to fail due to their own weaknesses. Wang’s characters are both at the mercy of outside events and circumstances and participants in their own fates. Most of the stories are set in fictional cities and rural villages in China. War, regime and societal changes, poverty, immigration,…

Further News of Defeat is a collection of loosely connected short stories about the realities of life in China, especially for people from the countryside who find themselves in the alien world of China’s cold and materialistic cities. The stories are heart-wrenching and the images in them will seep into your dreams, stay with you forever. What I love about this book is that, though all great books are fundamentally political, it is not politically motivated, not a diatribe against communism or even totalitarianism. The characters are not romanticized victims but real people with flaws and passions. This book will…

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