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Divided into thematic segments such as Portraits, Relationships, Family and Existential Moments, more than a hundred writers are represented in this stubby new collection from China.

Many of these stories, like Ling Rongzhi’s “Odd Day, Even Day,” depend on carefully contrived coincidences, misunderstandings and synchronicities for their effect. The largely apolitical topics may reflect the limits of dissent in China, but not of the desire to complain, to grouse about prevailing conditions, which in many cases remain appalling.

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