Everything you need to understand or teach Immortality by Yiyun Li.
Immortality is told in the first person plural by a narrator who represents an entire Chinese town over the course of the twentieth century. The narrator begins by going back to the time of the Chinese imperial dynasties, when members of the imperial family were served by eunuchs who attended to their every need. Eunuchs are men who have had their testicles surgically removed.
This particular town has a history of sending boys to be castrated and serve the emperor and his family. Serving in this way was considered an honorable calling, and the town is proud of the role it has played in producing what were called Great Papas. The tradition died out, however, when the last imperial dynasty was overthrown and replaced by republics. By the 1930s, most of the Great Papas lived in poverty in temples around the Forbidden City, which was the imperial palace... View more of the Immortality Summary