A Thousand Years of Good Prayers which won the 2005 Frank O'Connor Prize for best collection of short stories, so she does have an Irish connection!).
During the duration of The Irish Corner: A Celebrations of Irish Short Stories (March 11 to July 1) I am still reading some works not directly related to the event and will post briefly on them upon completion.
The Vagrants is set in Communist China in the middle 1970s, just as Beijing begins to experience wide spread protests against Maoist doctrines. It was a time in which everyone was in danger of being denounced as a proponent of prohibited ideas and suffer terrible punishment. The novel centers on the lives of very ordinary people trying to survive. Two of the central figures are an elderly couple whose daughter is schedule for and ends up being publicly executed as a counter revolutionary after many years in prison. It was very sad to see that the parents are afraid to even morn for their daughter and they fight over what caused her to go down this path. In a terrible scene, it appears that just before she was executed, she was operated on to remove salable organs. It is hard to fathom the mentality of a doctor that would do that and I wonder if this was a common practice and maybe is still some in parts of the world.
The Vagrants is a beautifully written novel that is not just about China in the 1970s, it is about what happens when people have no power over their own lives, can barely survive and can trust no one. I highly recommend it.