Singing for the Dead, a Woman Finds Her Purpose

Wenyan Lu’s novel, “The Funeral Cryer,” explores a Chinese tradition through a modern, more personal lens.

Every year or so, a version of the same article will come across my social media feeds, having gone freshly viral among a cohort of Westerners still unfamiliar with the “odd job” of professional wailers, usually from China, who are paid to cry at funerals. The pieces explain that this is a common custom with ancient roots…

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