A brilliant journey of self discovery for the heroine of this novel. It starts off written in fragmented English, which can be slightly awkward to read but improves as our heroine’s grasp of the language improves. A funny, witty story about communication and how even knowing each others language does not necessarily mean we understand one another.
Z is a 23-year-old Chinese language student who has come to London to learn English. When the book begins she can barely ask for a cup of tea, but when language comes, so does love. As she gets to know British culture she also falls for an older English man who lives a resolutely bachelor life in Hackney. It's a million miles away from the small Chinese town she comes from, where her parents want nothing more for her than that she should follow them into the shoe business. Z learns about sex, humour, companionship and passion, but she also learns the painful truth that language is also a barrier and the more you know about it, the less you understand.
Written in short chapters, each the definition of a word, this is a brilliantly clever book that pokes fun at England and China and explores the endless possibilities for misunderstanding between East and West, men and women.
Publication date: 03/01/2008
Publication date: 01/02/2007
|Publication date:||3rd January 2008|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
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.More About Xiaolu Guo