Yu Hua's beautiful, heartbreaking novel Cries in the Drizzle follows a young Chinese boy throughout his childhood and adolescence during the reign of Chairman Mao. The middle son of three, Sun Guanglin is constantly neglected ignored by his parents and his younger and older brother. Sent away at age six to live with another family, he returns to his parents' house six years later on the same night that their home burns to the ground, making him even more a black sheep. Yet Sun Guanglin's status as an outcast, both at home and in his village, places him in a unique position to observe the changing nature of Chinese society, as social dynamics -- and his very own family -- are changed forever under Communist rule. With its moving, thoughtful prose, Cries in the Drizzle is a stunning addition to the wide-ranging work of one of China's most distinguished contemporary writers.