The Last Communist Virgin by Wang Ping

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“Wang Ping’s The Last Communist Virgin is a beauty of a collection. She has interwoven the earthiness of China and the harshness of immigrant life . . . to create a series of short stories that are at once pitiful, heartbreaking, funny, and deeply inspiring.”—Lisa See, author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

From the restaurants of New York’s Chinatown to the retail emporium of Bergdorf Goodman, and from remote Chinese military outposts to the streets of Beijing, the tremors of China’s rapid economic and cultural growth can be felt. As the characters in these stories struggle to find their way, a young girl discovers love amidst a sea of angry Red Guards, émigrés navigate New York’s relentless rat race, an ambitious businesswoman finds the meaning of success in her rival, and an old man returns to a Beijing he doesn’t recognize on a mission to restore his son-in-law’s flagging honor.

Moving smoothly across political, cultural, and personal borders and between countries, continents, and languages, these stories open a window into the rapid transformations of an ancient culture and the soul’s thirst for adventure and harmony in a quickly changing world.

Wang Ping was born in Shanghai and grew up on a small island in the East China Sea. After three years spent farming in a mountain village commune, she attended Beijing University. In 1985 she left China to study in the United States, earning her PhD from New York University. She is the acclaimed author of the short story collection American Visa, the novel Foreign Devil, two poetry collections: Of Flesh & Spirit and The Magic Whip, and the cultural study Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China. She now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, and teaches at Macalester College. Visit her website at


About Wang Ping

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Ping was born in Shanghai, and came tot he United States in 1985. She teaches creative writing at Macalester College.
Published April 1, 2007 by Coffee House Press. 218 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Last Communist Virgin

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The sisters foreshadow Wan Li and Jeanne Shin, characters in two later stories, which take place after the women have immigrated to New York.

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Publishers Weekly

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Wang's second story collection follows two collections of poetry (The Magic Whip and Of Flesh and Spirit ), a nonfiction work on footbinding (Aching for Beauty ) and a novel (Foreign Devil ).

Jan 15 2007 | Read Full Review of The Last Communist Virgin

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