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BookBrowse Reviews Little Gods by Meng Jin

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Little Gods

by Meng Jin

Little Gods by Meng Jin X
Little Gods by Meng Jin
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  • Published:
    Jan 2020, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rachel Hullett
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Spanning continents and decades, Little Gods centers on Su Lan, a brilliant yet distant physicist, and Liya, the daughter left behind after Su Lan's sudden death.

Little Gods, Meng Jin's intricate, emotionally intelligent debut, opens with a scene in which physicist Su Lan gives birth in Beijing in 1989. Through the eyes of a nurse working the night shift, we learn that inside the hospital, Su Lan is abandoned by her husband, while outside, the violence of the June 4th Tiananmen Square Massacre (see Beyond the Book) erupts around her. The narrative then skips forward 17 years to Su Lan's death.

The novel unfolds in a non-linear fashion; in the opening chapters we're introduced to a shadow of the woman that Su Lan becomes—a distant, hardworking single mother—before we delve into the past and begin to reconstruct her character. There are multiple narrators, all of whom played a role in Su Lan's life—some of these roles more significant than others. As we hear from Su Lan's neighbor, daughter, and former ...

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