Gugu is beautiful, charismatic and of an unimpeachable political background. A respected midwife, she combines modern medical knowledge with a healer's touch to save the lives of village women and their babies. After a disastrous love affair with a defector leaves Gugu reeling, she throws herself zealously into enforcing China's draconian new family-planning policy by any means necessary, be it forced sterilizations or late-term abortions. tragically her blind devotion to the Party line spares no one: not her own family, not even herself. Once beloved, Gugu becomes the living incarnation of a reviled social policy violently at odds with deeply rooted social values. Spanning the pre-revolutionary era and the country's modern day consumer society, mo Yan's taut and engrossing examination of Chinese life will be read for generations to come.