A little added context for our discussion of Ma Jian's, The Noodle Maker:
The excellent site on the history of the Cultural Revolution, Morning Sun, offers some background on the propaganda hero Lei Feng. Check out the video snippets of the film, Lei Feng, which reference some familiar imagery from the book here and here. And here is a series of articles about various efforts to resuscitate the propganda hero, beginning in 1987, so our fictional writer's quest to find the new Lei Feng is well-grounded in fact. (Note also the more recent attempt to use Lei Feng to counter the Falun Gong!) Additional Lei Feng background and memorabilia can be explored at Stefan Landsberger's Chinese Propaganda Poster Pages.
Morning Sun also features a complete version of the lovely subversive bestiary, part of which I shared at our recent non-virtual meeting.