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Once Upon A Time in the East A Story of Growing up

by Xiaolu Guo

Biography / Autobiography eBooks of the Month

Once Upon A Time in the East A Story of Growing up Synopsis

'This generation's Wild Swans' Daily Telegraph 'One of the most startling and fascinating memoirs I've read in recent years...a story of China' Libby Purves 'Impressive...moving...exhilarating' Financial Times 'Guo is rebellious, flamboyant and fundamentally optimistic...fascinating' Scotland on Sunday 'This stunning memoir picks up where Jung Chang's 1991 bestseller Wild Swans left off...This book will make your jaw drop, then clench in anger' Five stars, Sunday Telegraph 'Riveting...Guo is a bolder, angrier and more ambitious figure than her forebears' The Times Xiaolu Guo meets her parents for the first time when she is almost seven. They are strangers to her. When she is born 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. It's a strange beginning. A Wild Swans for a new generation, 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. Xiaolu Guo's extraordinary memoir is a handbook of life lessons. How to be an artist when censorship kills creativity and the only job you can get is writing bad telenovela scripts. How to be a woman when female babies are regularly drowned at birth and sexual abuse is commonplace. Most poignantly of all: how to love when you've never been shown how.

Once Upon A Time in the East A Story of Growing up Press Reviews

Stunning...This book will make your jaw drop, then clench in anger. -- Helen Brown Telegraph

Guo is rebellious, flamboyant and fundamentally optimistic...fascinating. -- Stuart Kelly  Scotland on Sunday

Riveting...Guo is an angrier, bolder, more ambitious figure than her forebears.   The Times

Utterly compelling... She writes superbly about her struggle to escape the constraints of gender, poverty and state interference. This extraordinary memoir will enhance her burgeoning reputation. -- Ian Critchley  Sunday Times

Aside from the fast-paced plot, this is most interesting for its probing portrayal of Guo's ambivalent relationship with her homeland... An impressive feature of this moving and often exhilarating book is the brutality of her portrait of her parents. -- Lara Feigel  Financial Times 

This generation's Wild Swans   Daily Telegraph

A new Wild Swans. A compelling memoir fit to sit alongside Jung Chang's classic   Sunday Times

This autobiography is her account of fiery, artistic defiance and a testament to the act of storytelling as a way to break the silence... Guo writes in the audacious, restless and fragmented prose that has become her imprint: a feverish style that can be as merciless as the world she portrays. -- Megan Walsh   New Statesman

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781784740672
Publication date: 26/01/2017
Publisher:
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781784740672
Publication date: 26th January 2017
Author: Xiaolu Guo
Publisher:
Format: Hardback
Genres: Biography / Autobiography, eBook Favourites,
Categories:

About Xiaolu Guo

Xiaolu Guo was born in 1973 in a fishing village in south China. Having studied film at the Beijing Film Academy, she published a number of books in China and made the prize-winning film Love in the Internet Age (1999). She moved to London in 2002, to pursue her film-making, and began a diary in English which was the seed for the novel A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers. The English translation of Village of Stone was published by Chatto in 2004.

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