An Excess Male

An Excess Male

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
Finally saving up enough money for a matchmaking dowry, a young, single man in China, one of 40 million who can’t find wives because there aren’t enough women, finds himself deeply connecting with a woman who already has two husbands. Original. 35,000 first printing.


One of the Washington Posts' "The 5 best science fiction and fantasy novels of 2017"!

James Tiptree, Jr Literary Award Honor List

A B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog "Best SFF of 2017" pick!

A Kirkus "Best of the Best!" of 2017 Honorable Mention

From debut author Maggie Shen King, An Excess Male is the chilling dystopian tale of politics, inequality, marriage, love, and rebellion, set in a near-future China, that further explores the themes of the classics The Handmaid's Tale and When She Woke.

Under the One Child Policy, everyone plotted to have a son.

Now 40 million of them can't find wives. 

China’s One Child Policy and its cultural preference for male heirs have created a society overrun by 40 million unmarriageable men. By the year 2030, more than twenty-five percent of men in their late thirties will not have a family of their own. An Excess Male is one such leftover man’s quest for love and family under a State that seeks to glorify its past mistakes and impose order through authoritarian measures, reinvigorated Communist ideals, and social engineering.

Wei-guo holds fast to the belief that as long as he continues to improve himself, his small business, and in turn, his country, his chance at love will come. He finally saves up the dowry required to enter matchmaking talks at the lowest rung as a third husband—the maximum allowed by law. Only a single family—one harboring an illegal spouse—shows interest, yet with May-ling and her two husbands, Wei-guo feels seen, heard, and connected to like never before. But everyone and everything—walls, streetlights, garbage cans—are listening, and men, excess or not, are dispensable to the State. Wei-guo must reach a new understanding of patriotism and test the limits of his love and his resolve in order to save himself and this family he has come to hold dear.

In Maggie Shen King’s startling and beautiful debut, An Excess Male looks to explore the intersection of marriage, family, gender, and state in an all-too-plausible future.

Publisher: New York : Harper Voyager, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062662552
Branch Call Number: FIC King
Characteristics: 406 pages ; 21 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

NBaccari Nov 09, 2017

If you are a fan of Atwood's Handmaid's Tale, you need to give this book a shot. It's speculative fiction about the impact of China's One Child policy on the near future. In it, men vastly outnumber women, and women take on multiple husbands to create what are called Advanced Families. King's novel is a really fascinating take on how this affects society, families, relationships between men, and between men and women.

KateHillier Oct 13, 2017

China's One Child policy and a preference to males has resulted in a shortage of females. Getting married is extremely desirable and men must compete to be accepted into a marriage. A woman can also have up to 3 husbands. Wei-Guo is 44 and desperately wants to be the third husband to May-Ling. Her first husband, Hann, however is less open to the idea and Wei-Guo's fathers are not thrilled either. There are rules upon rules and expectations and laws and it is utterly fascinating to explore. There's also a lot a out what people think marriage is and what it ends up being. Fabulous read overall.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at IPL

To Top