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Praise for Prose: The Vagrants by Yiyun Li

By Marilyn Herbert

Last night, I reviewed Yiyun Li’s haunting book, The Vagrants, at a presentation at the Council House (4700 Bathurst St.) in Toronto. The story is about China in the year just after Mao’s death, and Li looks at the effects and ramifications of the entirety of Mao’s presence and rule over the country. Mao gave China a unique global identity — The People’s Republic of China — but with it, he destroyed each citizen’s individual identity. At the same time, he destroyed their future.