A Thousand Years of Good Prayers OverviewYiyun Li’s A Thousand Years of Good Prayers is a collection of short stories that follow the lives of ten Chinese or Chinese-American families. Although the stories do not share characters or plotlines, each story offers the reader a different perspective on the individual, familial, and cultural impacts of Mao Zedong’s leadership and the continued power of the Communist Party, spanning from the experiences of villagers in rural China during the decades of Mao’s chairmanship, to urban Chinese families struggling under harsh political persecution, to young Chinese-Americans attempting to reconcile their American lives with the culture and experiences of their parents. Throughout these stories, Li explores the themes of familial duty, desire and its consequences, immortality, innocence, and the malleability of perception.
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A Thousand Years of Good Prayers Study Guide