China 1968. Cultural Revolution. Life is characterized by material scarcity and extreme politicization. The author unmasks the absurdity of everyday life through the initially naive look of five-year-old Yingying.
Yingying is five when she has to understand that even an account with negligible child savings can be considered treason: When her grandmother Nainai’s stake house is expropriated, she tries to withdraw her money – but does she not send out a signal that harms her family? After all, private property is forbidden!
The girl lives with her parents in a small apartment on the grounds of her school. Their whole lives take place here: rival cliques in the neighbourhood, teachers critical of the regime, the death of the uncle, the mango as a cult object and a first love.