The Dark Road
by : Ma Jian
If a panda gets pregnant, the entire nation celebrates. But if a woman gets pregnant she's treated like a criminal. What kind of country is this?"
Meili, a young peasant woman is married to Kongzi, a village school teacher, and a distant descendant of the great sage Confucius. They have a daughter, but desperate to carry on his illustrious line, Kongzi gets Meili pregnant without waiting for official permission. When family planning officers storm into the village to arrest violators of the population control policy, mother, father and daughter are forced to make a fugitive life on the river.
Meili dreams of reaching a place called Heaven, a vast stinking wilderness of toxic waste, where the men eventually turn infertile and the family planning officers don't dare to go. But as their troubled quest to give birth to a son continues, it becomes clear that Kongzi and Meili are not just raging against the state -- they are at war with one another.