"The gates of hell aren't somewhere far beneath us. They're right here on earth." In 'The Dark Road', Ma Jian, a political activist, known for his 2001 classic memoir 'Red Dust', takes a stark and uncompromising look at China's one child policy and the harrowing effects it has in the rural parts of China, through the magic-realist tale of the life of peasant woman Meili. Although she already has a daughter, Nannan, her school teacher husband, Kongzi, and a direct descendant of Confucius, is determined to continue his line by producing a male heir. Their struggle to achieve this, watched over all the while by 'the infant spirit' takes them on a harrowing journey into hiding from the authorities and deeper into the darkest, most toxic places of the countryside. Certainly, an important and unforgettable book.
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