An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King
A Novel

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Told in alternating viewpoints, King's novel takes its cues from classic sci-fi dystopias, from The Handmaid’s Tale to Ender’s Game, to demonstrate the repressive control mechanisms already at work in everyday life. An intelligent, incisive commentary on how love survives—or doesn’t—under the heel of the State.
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Synopsis

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 have created a society overrun by 40 million unmarriageable men. By the year 2030, more than twenty-five percent of men in their late thirties will not have a family 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.

 

About Maggie Shen King

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Maggie Shen King grew up in Taiwan and attended both Chinese and American schools before moving to Seattle at age sixteen. She studied English literature at Harvard, and her short stories have appeared in Ecotone, ZYZZYVA, and Asimov’s Science Fiction. Her manuscript Fortune’s Fools, won Second Prize in Amazon’s 2012 Breakthrough Novel Award. She lives near San Francisco, California. Author Image 1
 
Published September 12, 2017 by Harper Voyager. 416 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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on Jun 20 2017

Told in alternating viewpoints, King's novel takes its cues from classic sci-fi dystopias, from The Handmaid’s Tale to Ender’s Game, to demonstrate the repressive control mechanisms already at work in everyday life. An intelligent, incisive commentary on how love survives—or doesn’t—under the heel of the State.

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