The Vagrants by Yiyun Li

This first novel takes place in China in the 1980s before the protests at Tiananmen Square.  The story revolves around an older couple who have a daughter who went from being a leader in the young Communist party to being a revolutionary.  She eventually is arrested and sentenced to death for her revolutionary activities.  The story follows about five or six different families who are all somehow connected to this woman and her family. Most of these families live in extreme poverty and their living conditions are described in great detail.  A very interesting story that takes place at a pivotal time in China’s history.

Reviewed by Michelle


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