The New Yorker
In the countryside of China’s Anhui Province, where Weijia Ma’s father grew up, much of life centered on the ponds. There, women washed vegetables and did laundry; little kids played in the water, swimming and catching fish. Ma grew up in a small nearby city and returned every year for the Chinese New Year and the Qingming Festival, a spring day when people honor their dead loved ones, to see her family and to sweep the graves of their ancestors. The water was also where life disappeared: old villagers told her stories about unwanted little girls being abandoned by rivers and ponds.