Before the Cultural Revolution, narrator Tadpole's feisty Aunt Gugu is revered as an obstetrician in her home township in rural China. Renowned for her sure hands and uncanny ability to calm anxious mothers, Gugu speeds around town on her bicycle to usher thousands of babies into life.
When famine lifts and the population booms, Gugu becomes the unlikely yet passionate enforcer of China's new family-planning policy. She is unrelenting in her mission, invoking hatred in her wake. In her dramatic fall from deity to demon, she becomes the living incarnation of a reviled social policy violently at odds with deep-rooted cultural values.
As China moves towards the millennium, a new breed of entrepreneur emerges with a perverse interpretation of the decades-old law. Tadpole finds himself again caught up in the one-child policy and its unpredictable repercussions on the human price of capital.
Frog is an extraordinary and riveting mix of the real and the absurd, the comic and the tragic. It presents a searing portrait of China's recent history, in Mo Yan's unique and luminous prose.