The Last Communist Virgin

Stories by Wang Ping

April 1, 2007 • 5 x 7.5 • 218 pages • 978-1-56689-195-0

From the restaurants of New York’s Chinatown to the retail emporium of Bergdorf Goodman, and from remote Chinese military outposts to the streets of Beijing, these stories open a window into the rapid transformations of an ancient culture. As the characters struggle to find their way, a young girl discovers love amidst a sea of angry Red Guards, émigrés navigate New York’s relentless rat race, and an old man returns to a Beijing he doesn’t recognize on a mission to restore his son-in-law’s flagging honor. In the heartrending finale, the origins of humanity and its reckless dash toward an apocalyptic future are distilled into a love story with far-reaching implications.

About the Author

Wang Ping was born in Shanghai and grew up on a small island in the East China Sea. After three years of farming in a mountain village, she attended Beijing University. In 1985 she left China to study in the U.S., earning her Ph.D. from New York University.

Her books include two collections of poetry, The Magic Whip and Of Flesh & Spirit, the cultural study Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China, the novel Foreign Devil, two collections of fiction stories entitled American Visa and The Last Communist Virgin, and a book of Chinese folk lore, The Dragon Emperor. Wang is also the editor and co-translator of the anthology New Generation: Poetry from China Today and co-translator of Flames by Xue Di.

The Last Communist Virgin was winner of the 2008 Minnesota Book Awards in the category of Novel & Short Story and the 2007 Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies in the category of Poetry/Prose. The Magic Whip was a 2004 finalist for the Minnesota Book Award and received an honorable mention from the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, andAching for Beauty was a 2001 Minnesota Book Award finalist and winner of the University of Colorado’s Eugene M. Kayden Book Award for “the best book in the humanities published by an American university press.”

Her writing has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 1993 and 1996. She is a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Loft Literary Center, and Bush Foundation, and she was a recipient of the Lannan Residency Program in 2007. She currently lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, and teaches creative writing at Macalester College.

Thanks to a 2013 ADA Access Improvement Grant administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, this title is also formatted for screen readers which make text accessible to the blind and visually impaired. To purchase this title for use with a screen reader please call (612) 338-0125 or email us at info@coffeehousepress.org.


“Wang Ping is a fearless, phenomenal writer.” —Louise Erdrich

“Wang Ping’s The Last Communist Virgin is a beauty of a collection. She has interwoven the earthiness of China and the harshness of immigrant life . . . to create a series of short stories that are at once pitiful, heartbreaking, funny, and deeply inspiring.” —Lisa See