Through his two protagonists, Bai Hua addresses themes of the repression and freedom of sexuality, the brutality of modernity, and the fluidity of gender roles as the novel moves hypnotically and inevitably toward a collision between two worlds. In altering chapers, the novel tells the stories of Sunamei, a young woman from a rural matriarchal community, and Lian Rui, a self-absorbed man who is also weary witness to the Cultural Revolution. Through his two protagonists, the author addresses themes of the repression and freedon of sexuality, the brutality of modernity, and the fluidity of gender roles as the novel moves hypnotically and inevitably toward a collision between two worlds.
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