Boxers, the larger of the two works, tells the story of the events leading up to and including the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. It focuses on one character, Little Bao, who essentially is the single person who organizes the rebellion to take China back from the imperialist foreigners who are taking away their culture. Like Yang's other works, there is magic realism in the story, but unlike his other works, there's actually a historical precedent behind that magic realism. That isn't to say that the Chinese actually used magic in the rebellion, but the history tells us that the leaders of the rebellion did believe that they were channeling their Gods when they went into battle. The story is fictionalized, in that Little Bao wasn't a real person, but merely an invention to make the story more interesting, and to relate the events back to the reader through the character.