From one of our most important contemporary Chinese authors: a novel of language and love that tells one young Chinese woman's story of her journey to the West—and her attempts to understand the language, and the man, she adores. Zhuang—or “Z,” to tongue-tied foreigners—has come to London to study English, but finds herself adrift, trapped in a cycle of cultural gaffes and grammatical mishaps. Then she meets an Englishman who changes everything, leading her into a world of self-discovery. She soon realizes that, in the West, “love” does not always mean the same as in China, and that you can learn all the words in the English language and still not understand your lover. And as the novel progresses with steadily improving grammar and vocabulary, Z's evolving voice makes her quest for comprehension all the more poignant. With sparkling wit, Xiaolu Guo has created an utterly original novel about identity and the cultural divide.
A charming and clever account of one woman's exploration of love, language and identity. Twenty-three-year-old Zhuang (or Z as she calls herself) arrives in London to spend a year learning English. Struggling to find her way in the city, and through the puzzles of tense, verb and adverb; she falls for an older Englishman and begins to realise that the landscape of love is an even trickier terrain... VINTAGE VOYAGES- A world of journeys, from the tallest mountains to the depths of the mind
A story of desire, love and language – and the meaning of home – told through conversations between two lovers A Chinese woman comes to London to start a new life, away from her old world. She knew she would be lonely, adrift in the city, but will her new relationship bring her closer to this land she has chosen, will their love give her a home? A Lover’s Discourse is an exploration of romantic love told through fragments of conversations between the two lovers. Playing with language and the cultural differences that her narrator encounters as she settles into life in a post-Brexit Britain, Xiaolu Guo shows us how this couple navigate these differences, and their romance, whether on their unmoored houseboat or in a stifling flatshare in east London, or journeying through other continents together... Suffused with a wonderful sense of humour, this intimate and tender novel asks universal questions: what is the meaning of home when we’ve been uprooted? How can a man and woman be together? And how best to find solid ground in a world of uncertainty?
Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Fiction Prize In a flat above a noisy north London market, translator Iona Kirkpatrick starts work on a Chinese letter. Two lovers, Mu and Jian, have been driven apart by forces beyond their control. As Iona unravels the story of the lovers, Jian and Mu seem to be travelling further and further away from each other. Iona, intoxicated by their romance, sets out to bring them back together, but time is running out. Xiaolu Guo was named as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists
The lovers in the age of indifference are tough romantics from every corner of the planet: a marriage splinters during a game of mah jong; a depressed fiancée is lifted by a mid-air encounter with a Hollywood legend; a mountain keeper watches over a lonely temple but is perturbed when, finally, a visitor dares to arrive. In this engagingly maverick collection of stories, writer and filmmaker Guo zooms into tender and surreal moments in the lives of lost souls and lovers, adrift between West and East. Her personal, provocative and charming fables capture the sense of alienation thrown up by life in the modern world, and we join her characters in their search for human contact - and love - in rapidly-changing landscapes all around the globe.
Have you ever tried to learn another language? When Zhuang first arrives in London from China she feels like she is among an alien species. The city is disorientating, the people unfriendly, the language a muddle of personal pronouns and moody verbs. But with increasing fluency in English surviving turns to living. And they say that the best way to learn a language is to fall in love with a native speaker... Selected from the book A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS. A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human Also in the Vintage Minis series: Babies by Anne Enright Depression by William Styron Race by Toni Morrison Home by Salman Rushdie
Village of Stone brilliantly evokes the harshness of life on the typhoon-battered coast of China, where fishermen are often lost to violent seas and children regularly swept away. It is the beautiful, haunting story of one little girl's struggle to endure silence, solitude and the shame of sexual abuse, but it is also an incisive portrait of China's new urban youth, who have hidden behind their modern lifestyle all the poverty and cruelty of their past.
Life as a film extra in Beijing might seem hard, but Fenfang won't be defeated. She has travelled 1800 miles to seek her fortune in the city, and has no desire to return to the never-ending sweet potato fields back home. Determined to live a modern life, Fenfang works as a cleaner in the Young Pioneer's movie theatre, falls in love with unsuitable men and keeps her kitchen cupboard stocked with UFO instant noodles. As Fenfang might say, Heavenly Bastard in the Sky, isn't it about time I got my lucky break? Longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize.
*Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award* *Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award* *Shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize* *Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2018* *A Sunday Times Book of the Year* Xiaolu Guo meets her parents for the first time when she is almost seven. They are strangers to her. When she is born in 1973, her parents hand her over to a childless peasant couple in the mountains. Aged two, and suffering from malnutrition on a diet of yam leaves, they leave Xiaolu with her illiterate grandparents in a fishing village on the East China Sea. Once Upon a Time in the East takes Xiaolu from a run-down shack to film school in a rapidly changing Beijing, navigating the everyday peculiarity of modern China: censorship, underground art, Western boyfriends. In 2002 she leaves Beijing on a scholarship to study in Britain. Now, after a decade in Europe, her tale of East to West resonates with the insight that can only come from someone who is both an outsider and at home. 'This generation's Wild Swans' Daily Telegraph
Silver Hill Village, 2012. On the twentieth day of the seventh moon Kwok Yun is making her way across the rice fields on her Flying Pigeon bicycle. Her world is turned upside down when she sights a UFThing - a spinning plate in the sky - and helps the Westerner in distress whom she discovers in the shadow of the alien craft. It's not long before the village is crawling with men from the National Security and Intelligence Agency armed with pointed questions. And when the Westerner that Kwok Yun saved repays her kindness with a large dollar cheque she becomes a local celebrity, albeit under constant surveillance...