Chief Inspector Chen had never believed in such a mythical embodiment of the Communist Party selfless spirit as Comrade Lei Feng. A sudden wave of sadness washed over the chief inspector. It was absurd, Chen thought, that politics could have so shaped a life. If she had married Lai, Guan would not have been so successful in her political life. She would not have been a national model worker, but an ordinary wife -- knitting a sweater for her husband, pulling a propane gas tank on her bike rack, bargaining for a penny or two when she bought food in the market, nagging like a broken grammophone, playing with a lovely child sitting on her lap -- but she would have been alive.
from Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong (New York: Soho Press, 2000, page 189).