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Publisher's Summary

From debut author Maggie Shen King, An Excess Male is the chilling dystopian tale of politics, inequality, marriage, love, and rebellion, set in a near-future China, that further explores the themes of the classics The Handmaid's Tale and When She Woke.
Under the One Child Policy, everyone plotted to have a son. Now 40 million of them can't find wives.
China's One Child Policy and its cultural preference for male heirs has created a society overrun by 40 million unmarriageable men. By the year 2030, more than 25 percent of men in their late 30s will not have families of their own. An Excess Male 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.
In Maggie Shen King's startling and beautiful debut, An Excess Male looks to explore the intersection of marriage, family, gender, and state in an all-too-plausible future.
©2017 Maggie Shen King (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By John on 10-01-17

Enjoyable

Ms. Shen King's book draws the listener into a creatively imagined near future China resulting from China's one child policy. Her use of multiple points of view help the listener understand and empathize with the diverse characters struggling against the state to become a family. Her book is both an engaging tale and reflective on the nature of family and the acceptance of others.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Ned Ferguson on 04-22-18

No, it isn't another Handmaids Tale

I tried this because others rated it highly, and compared it to a Handmaid's Tale. This book has neither the breadth, depth, or nuance of A Handmaid's Tale. It falls far short of that comparison. I found it to be a simple, hamfisted, and unsatisfying story.

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