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After a life

For twenty-eight years, Mr and Mrs Su have kept their daughter hidden away

By Yiyun Li   April 2005

Mr and Mrs Su are finishing their breakfast when the telephone rings. Neither moves to pick it up at first. Not many people know their number; fewer use it. Their son Jian, now in his second year at college, calls them once a month to report his wellbeing. He spends most of his holidays with his friends’ families, not offering even the most superficial excuses. Mr and Mrs Su do not have the heart to complain or to remind Jian of their wish to see him more often. Their two-bedroom flat, small and cramped as it is, is filled with…

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