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The Last Communist Virgin

Cover design by Jesse Katzman and Wang Ping. Cover photographs by Tom Wallace and Wang Ping.

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"They are deceptively simple stories, of ordinary people dealing with tough times. The tales are sensual and sometimes sad, but Wang's characters have backbones of steel." - Minnesota Public Radio

"Engaging, well-written and thought-provoking stories that manage to often transcend culture." - Japan's Daily Yomiuri


"In seven connected short stories, issues of money, sex, power and identity are explored along-side the seismic events of recent Chinese history. Throughout the book, Ping's characters are frustrated in their attempts to do right morally while also preserving their individuality. Ping's writing is clean and precise throughout, but the tones [between the] stories couldn't be more different." Star Tribune Minneapolis - St. Paul

"Wang Ping's The Last Communist Virgin is a beauty of a collection. She has interwoven the earthiness of China and the harshness of immigrant life, as well as the pull of the homeland and the lure of the new land, to create a series of short stories that are at once pitiful, heartbreaking, funny, and deeply inspiring. 'The Homecoming of an Old Beijing Man' is the most spot-on portrait of contemporary China I've read anywhere." - Lisa See

"The stories weave through distant geography, concepts of home, foreignness, history, myth and the future shape a modern, globalized China may take. The final story in the collection, 'Maverick', is outstanding for its lack of thematic borders." - Asian American Press

"[Ping] explores how China's economic and cultural emergence has affected the lives of migrant workers in China as well as those who built new lives in the States." - Audrey magazine "While the child narrators of the initial stories describe personal moments in which politics acts as a mundane inconvenience, the older narrators of later stories are irrevocably shaped by it. [This] second collection of short stories is convincingly powered by the wandering internal monologues of its narrators." - Venus Magazine

"Though well linked, the seven stories function independently, which not only speaks to the author's narrative abilities, but also serves as a poignant metaphor for the splintered community she describes." - Kirkus Review

"The Red Guards sloganeering, the public humiliation, the generational rifts wrack the characters in these tales, whose lives weave through the dark chaos." - Associated Press

"Whether through the eyes of a 12-year-old girl in China, or an older, naturalized Chinese American man returning to Beijing, sex and violence are understood by Wang's characters as tools for power and survival. This work should be of interest to both public and academic libraries with Chinese American literature collections." - Library Journal

Winner of the 2008 Minnesota Book Awards in the category of Novel & Short Story and the 2007 Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies in the category of Poetry/Prose

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