I Am China
Xiaolu Guo (Author)
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An NPR Best Book of the YearLondon translator Iona Kirkpatrick is at work on a new project: a collection of letters and diaries by a Chinese punk guitarist named Kublai Jian. As she translates the handwritten pages, a story of romance and revolution emerges between Jian, who believes there is no art without political commitment, and Mu, a poet whom he loves as fiercely as his ideals.
Iona cannot know that Jian has come to Britain seeking political asylum and is mere miles away in Dover, awaiting news of his fate. Mu is in Beijing, writing letters to London, feverishly trying to track Jian down. As Iona charts the course of their twenty-year relationship from its beginnings at Beijing University to Jian's defiant march in the Jasmine Revolution, her empty life takes on an urgent purpose: to bring Jian and Mu together again before it's too late.
August 04, 2015
5.1 X 8.0 X 0.9 inches | 0.9 pounds
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About the Author
Xiaolu Guo published six books in China before moving 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 Broadband Prize for Fiction, and Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth, published in 2008, was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. She is also a successful director of feature films, including She, a Chinese and UFO in Her Eyes, and documentaries; her work has premiered at the Venice Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival, and other venues all over the world. She was named as one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists in 2013. www.guoxiaolu.com
"Beautifully rendered." --The New York Times Book Review"A book so piercingly urgent and relevant it is as if Guo has not so much published it as pressed it into your hand the very moment after writing the final sentence." --The Independent (London) "A multilayered exploration of politics and culture across three continents. . . . Cultural references, from Johnny Rotten to Erik Satie, are refracted through a lens of Chinese politics." --The Guardian (London) "[Guo's] dark, witty fiction examines the interface between east and west. . . . This novel has bold, refreshing things to say about art and politics." --Financial Times "A complex and fascinating political narrative. The lives of Jian and Mu, haunted by the turbulent history of Chinese politics (in particular, the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989), read like a eulogy for a lost vision of China." --The Observer (London) "Steeped in music, revolution, exile and romance, this is a story from the front lines of contemporary China." --Houston Chronicle "With I Am China, Xiaolu Guo has completed her metamorphosis from an exile writing about displacement in a second language to a writer who seems to occupy two worlds at once, with a discerning eye cast on each and the myriad intersections between them." --The Toronto Star
"A compelling read. . . . Vividly captures the mixed emotions of the youths of 1980s about their home country and the impact on their lives decades after." --The Asian Review of Books
"A harrowing glimpse into post-Tiananmen repression in China. . . . A mix of dissident rhetoric and heartbreak that turns on one couple's story." --Kirkus Reviews
"Guo's bittersweet tale of love and politics with a soupçon of obsession plays out against the contrast between East and West. . . . This is truly a finely crafted novel whose characters will remain in memory long after reading the final page." --Booklist