A published author in China and an affiliate with the Washington Post's Beijing bureau, Wang presents her first work in English, a political, historical, and lightly romantic novel. Set in China just prior to the Tiananmen uprising, the book introduces 24-year-old Lili Lin, just released from prison after being sentenced for hooliganism. Unable to find steady employment, she accepts a friend's offer to work as a musician and plays the erhu for foreign tourists while on a trip to inner Mongolia. While there, Lili meets and falls in love with U.S. journalist Roy Goldstein, eventually moving in with him and risking possible imprisonment for illegal cohabitation. Told in the first person, this multilayered work reveals the inequities that result from class differences, gender differences, political affiliation, and poverty in China. Like author Hong Ying (Daughter of the River, LJ 1/99), Wang brings a woman's perspective to her storytelling, as she describes the oppression of free-spirited and free-thinking women in China. Wang's writing is clear, full of imagery, and easy to follow; recommended for most general fiction collections and especially for Asian fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/01.] Shirley N. Quan, Orange Cty. P.L., Santa Ana, CA
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