Nine Continents: A Memoir in and Out of China


Product Details

$26.00  $24.18
Grove Press
Publish Date
5.4 X 1.7 X 8.4 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

Xiaolu Guo was born in south China. She studied film at the Beijing Film Academy and published six books in China before she moved to London in 2002. The English translation of Village of Stone was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her first novel written in English, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, and Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth, published in 2008, was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. Her most recent novel, I Am China, was longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. In 2013 she was named one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. Xiaolu has also directed several award-winning films including She, A Chinese and a documentary about London, Late at Night. She lives in London and Berlin.


Praise for Nine Continents

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography

Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize

Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award

"Vivid--and funny . . . [Xiaolu Guo] has done far more than simply 'survive' the hardships and dislocations of her life. She has triumphed . . . Nine Continents shows the rewards of listening to an unleashed voice remembering and speaking with full freedom." --Wall Street Journal

"It is the journey through heady, whiplash times that helps us understand where the nation is going . . . Perhaps [her elegy] for vanished homes in China required distance to write. . . A laojia [old home] exists not so much on a map but in the heart." --The New York Times

"Guo is a bolder, angrier and more ambitious figure than her forebears . . . A subtle achievement of language . . . [with] a wry, matter-of-fact, bittersweet tone that accommodates the pathos and cruelty of her story without lapsing into self-pity."-- The Times (UK)

"This is autobiography as Bildungsroman or indeed as Künstlerroman . . . Aside from the fast-paced plot, this is most interesting for its probing portrayal of Guo's ambivalent relationship with her homeland . . . Moving and often exhilarating." --Financial Times (UK)

"The most compelling Chinese memoir since Jung Chang's Wild Swans . . . Guo's writing is more personal and poetic than Chang's crisp, scholarly prose--and more openly angry . . . She's refreshingly fierce and funny about the flaws she finds in British culture." --Telegraph (UK) (5 stars)

"By turns raw, intelligent, compelling, sad, uncompromising and reticent . . . Guo's talent is to highlight all those things about China that make it so different while simultaneously making it somehow seem both familiar and comprehensible." --South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

"Guo is . . . rebellious, flamboyant and fundamentally optimistic . . . Some of Guo's narratives of herself are staggering . . . Fascinating." --Scotland on Sunday (UK)

"This autobiography is her account of fiery, artistic defiance and a testament to the act of storytelling . . . 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 . . . [A] penetrating writer." --New Statesman (UK)