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The first part of the novel is set in Anhwei, a little farming village in east central China divided by the Yangtze River. Most of the people who live there are peasants. The second half of the novel is set in Kiangsu, a city in the south of China. Wang Lung takes his family here after they experience a famine in Anhwei. Kiangsu is a big city that's overcrowded. It has many places of entertainment and offers a whole different world to Wang Lung. Wang Lung stays here until revolution breaks out, and then he goes back to his village.
around the late 1800's eary 1900's 1880-1930
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