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“I wished this life could go on forever. When the swill was poured into the trough, white steam rose into the chilly air, and the pigs, already snorting with impatience, pushed against one another – but sooner or later, satisfied by a good meal, they would calm down. The conscripts cleaned the trough and then the sties, and the pigs found their favorite spots to lie in the sun. The pigs’ needs were simple, their happiness easily granted; the boys were in pain, but still they joked, their dreams laughable to their companions and themselves alike.”

– Yiyun Li, “Kindness,” Gold Boy, Emerald Girl

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