A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo

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Synopsis

Language and love collide in this inventive novel of a young Chinese woman's 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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Xiaolu Guo

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Xiaolu Guo was born in a fishing village in southern China. After graduating from the Beijing Film Academy, she wrote several books published in China before she moved to London in 2002. She was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 International Women's Film Festival for her first feature "How Is Your Fish Today?," and is the recipient of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival Cinefondation Residency grant based in Paris. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, her first novel published in the U.S., was shortlisted for the 2007 Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. She divides her time between London and Beijing, and is at work on a new novel.
 
Published June 10, 2008 by Anchor. 304 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers

Kirkus Reviews

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A young Chinese woman travels to London on a student visa and falls in love with a much older English bachelor.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of A Concise Chinese-English Dic...

Publishers Weekly

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A young woman from rural China learns how to comprehend “love” and “heartbreak” in English in this quirky, touching novel. Zhuang, or “Z” to tongue-tied foreigne

Jun 25 2007 | Read Full Review of A Concise Chinese-English Dic...

BC Books

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About one third into Guo Xiaolu's novel A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers , a man at an English pub says to the confused protagonist, a young Chinese woman named Z, "English is a bloo...

Jul 28 2008 | Read Full Review of A Concise Chinese-English Dic...

Bookmarks Magazine

Z is an appealing protagonist: curious about her new world, tough as her peasant background (abused by a mother who wanted a son), ferociously dedicated to improving her English, but also tender as she discovers love and sex with the man she addresses in the journal only as 'you.'" Maya Muir.

Dec 03 2007 | Read Full Review of A Concise Chinese-English Dic...

Live Journal

Consequently, "broken English" is the standard mode of "English" communication evoked here, a desire then to produce the spoken and written words of an immigrant in a self-consciously rendered mimetic style.

May 04 2009 | Read Full Review of A Concise Chinese-English Dic...

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