The Dark Road by Ma Jian

The Dark Road

Ma Jian

A extremely brutal account of one Chinese family's attempt to escape from the Government's one child policy. Told very graphically and definitely not for the squeamish. The personality of Meili, the young peasant mother, redeems the story from total misery. Very descriptively written and totally absorbing. Surprisingly, a compulsive read.

Extract

At this moment, Meili feels happy, as though every part of her body were connected, from her toenails to the hairs on her scalp. A sense of contentment, long dormant, stirs within her. She knows that to remain happy, love is not enough: one must make a living, strive to accomplish something, find a sense of purpose.
When she realised that Kongzi's only aim in life was to impregnate her again and again until she produced a son, she feared that her road to happiness would be blocked forever. But now she is confident that as long as she pursues goals of her own, however unachievable they may be, a happy life will be possible.

Parallels
  • Under the Hawthorn Tree by Ai Mi
  • Dream of Ding Village by Yan Lianke

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