Fugui, the prodigal son of a wealthy country Chinese landowner,
spends his days and nights in town drinking and whoring. He has little
respect for his father and less for his father-in-law, whom he
frequently mocks with impunity. He neglects his daughter and is abusive
toward his wife. With no redeemable qualities whatsoever, Fugui seems an
unlikely main character for Yu Hua’s best-selling novel, To Live.
It is only in losing everything, that Fugui undergoes a profound
psycho-spiritual transformation, and thereon gradually gains our
sympathy and our interest. 


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