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Maggie Shen King

Autor(a) de An Excess Male: A Novel

3+ Works 331 Membros 18 Críticas

About the Author

Includes the name: Maggie Shen King

Obras por Maggie Shen King

An Excess Male: A Novel (2017) 329 exemplares
Ball and Chain 1 exemplar
Ardy's Choice 1 exemplar

Associated Works

Asimov's Science Fiction: Vol. 38, No. 2 [February 2014] (2014) — Contribuidor — 10 exemplares
Asimov's Science Fiction: Vol. 43, No. 7 & 8 [July/August 2019] (2019) — Contribuidor — 7 exemplares
Vector 293 (2021) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar


Conhecimento Comum



just cant finish this. I dislike the characteres but I don't want to watch them suffer.
Murphy-Jacobs | 17 outras críticas | May 12, 2023 |
The dystopian near-future depicted in An Excess Male is so tangible that it's painful. The key to the story's effectiveness is that the four central characters understand the invasive authoritarianism of the Chinese government to be utterly ordinary, if unjust, and believe that they can achieve happy, ordinary lives within the status quo--even though the government tries to make that impossible for them in various ways. The resulting human drama between them is as compelling as the undercurrent of discontent flowing beneath the surface of their society. The book delivers on the narrative potential of a story is about one man marrying a woman who has already married two others: each of the four characters has a unique relationship with each of the other three; and while all of those relationships have serious problems, all of them still seem right and good, and I finished the book feeling that the characters really are a family. It's a story that can connect emotionally in a variety of ways.… (mais)
Sammelsurium | 17 outras críticas | Apr 20, 2023 |
In 1979, China adopted the one-child policy in the hopes of bringing their dangerously high population numbers down. This, of course, given China's male-favoring culture, merely insured femanticide for billions of female fetuses over many long years. Do you think a society where men outnumber women will make women more valued and ensure them equal, or advanced rights?

I am astounded and thrilled at the talent that Maggie Shen King possesses and shares with us in this, her latest released work. The loving craft she put into her four-and-one-half main characters caused me to fall in love with them slowly, and one-by-one, allowing for a lasting relationship. The way they supported each other and Drew together through formidable obstacles was what kept me reading nearly straight through, wanting for everything to come right for this family. I only hope Ms Shen King can find it in her heart to share more of her magic with me, and soon.… (mais)
burritapal | 17 outras críticas | Oct 23, 2022 |
Rating: 4.5* of five

The Publisher Says: Set in a near-future China the One Child Policy has resulted in 40 million men unable to find wives. This book is one such leftover man’s quest for love and family under a State that seeks to glorify its past mistakes and impose order through authoritarian measures, reinvigorated Communist ideals, and social engineering.

Wei-guo holds fast to the belief that as long as he continues to improve himself, his small business, and in turn, his country, his chance at love will come. He finally saves up the dowry required to enter matchmaking talks at the lowest rung as a third husband—the maximum allowed by law. Only a single family—one harboring an illegal spouse—shows interest, yet with May-ling and her two husbands, Wei-guo feels seen, heard, and connected to like never before. But everyone and everything—walls, streetlights, garbage cans—are listening, and men, excess or not, are dispensable to the State. Wei-guo must reach a new understanding of patriotism and test the limits of his love and his resolve in order to save himself and this family he has come to hold dear.


My Review
: You'll notice that this book's review is coming out in Pride Month's Cavalcade of Queerness. You'd likely assume that, given the extreme shortage of women in the China that Author Maggie Shen King posits, there'd be quite open homosexuality everywhere because men gonna do the wild thing however, whenever, wherever they possibly can.

I speak from experience. And I am here to tell you: You do not know China, Chinese culture, or the nature of authorial sneakiness if you bought that. No, women being scarce does not give them power: It gives their fathers power. No, women being scarce does not mean gayness is tolerated by the authoritarian state: It results in social deformities and closetedness and all the horrors you see in China today.

Okay, so now that I've told you what you'll learn in the first 30-ish pages of the book. Why read it? Because it is a well-designed labyrinth that will disorient you and prevent you from trusting your own judgment of who can or should be trusted. Wei-guo is a man adrift, a man without anything to anchor himself to, and is glad to find a home with his secret-driven marriage partners.
"Are you Willfully Sterile?" Big Dad says.
Hann frowns with disbelief. "I'm a married man. With a child," he roars. He pops to his feet but is boxed in...

"The Lee family has heard rumors," {the matchmaker} says. "And of course, they must ask you this question. It is better they ask you directly, don't you think?" He coaxes Hann to sit.

Hann buttons up his suit coat. "You can destroy my family with accusations like that."

It is so awkward that I stand too to keep {Hann} company. Big Dad glares at us both.

"We are honorable, good-hearted people. Get to know us, and you can make up your own mind as to who we are." Hann turns to address {Wei-guo}, and for a instant his eyes soften. "If you decide that we are right for you, then know that we are a very tightly-knit, a very close and private family. Cherish us, and we will cherish you. Marrying us is not a decision you will regret."

I like what I hear, but Big Dad stands to put on his jacket, no doubt offended that Hann dares to bypass his authority and address me directly. I'm sick of him trying to sink my chances. Dad scrambles to his feet and follows Big Dad's lead. Despite my dads' brusqueness, Hann is gracious in his farewell.

This is a pivotal scene...this is Big Dad, the first husband and father/ruler of Wei-guo's future. He smells a rat. He's right. But Wei-guo doesn't care about rodentia, he cares about being in his own family, being able to make a life that isn't in his dads' control. He is, after all, forty-four years old at this point.

I don't guess most need to be told that "Wilfully Sterile" means gay, do I? Why that should be a bad thing in a society as lopsidedly male-dominated as this fictitious Chinese one is, I can't fathom. Still, there it is, with its hideous threats of "family dissolution and forced sterilization" to be enacted on the guilty.

What ensues is a heart-stopping, heart-wrenching tale of the way that authoritarian regimes run peoples' lives for the benefit of the State that makes the rules. It's not like we haven't seen this trend in action...it's the genesis of the One-Child Policy that got China into the mess this book posits. And, seeing a chance to make its control tighter over the very nature of the family, the state reverts to its bad, hamfisted ways. Prescribing and legislating and brutally enforcing "morality" is a very popular trope among authoritarians. Look at the "pro-family" drivel the red-meat right throws around in the US. And, crucially, look at whom it's directed, and from whom rights, freedoms, the very right to define and live an identity is withheld...and tell me this book should not be on the bestseller lists right now, in 2022, as midterms of HUGE importance are ramping up.

I strongly urge you to get and read a copy as soon as possible.
… (mais)
richardderus | 17 outras críticas | Jun 21, 2022 |



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