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.
About the Author
XIAOLU GUO, born in southern China, is an award-winning filmmaker and writer. "A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers," her first novel to be published in the United States was short-listed for the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a Book Sense Pick. She divides her time between London and Beijing, and is at work on her next novel.
"Funny, childlike and wise all at once." —Los Angeles Times“What makes this novel winsome is hearing the authentic voice of a young woman — bewildered, self-deprecating, funny, wise — as she navigates the world on her own.” —USA Today“Endearing. . . . Concise takes us into a new territory, all the more exciting for its virginity.” —Chicago Sun-Times“A fast, breezy read, don't be so easily entertained as to miss the many nuances-beyond the most obvious definitions are deeper, more satisfying meanings.” —San Francisco Chronicle