A memoir of growing up in modern China from the Orange-shortlisted and Granta Best Young British Novelist.
Xiaolu Guo was born in south China. She studied at the Beijing Film Academy and published six books in China before moving to London in 2002. Her books include Village of Stone which was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth which was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize, and I Am China which was longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction. Her recent memoir, Once Upon a Time in the East, won the National Book Critics Circle Award, was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award, the Jhalak Prize and the Rathbones Folio Award 2018, and was a Sunday Times Book of the Year. In 2013 Xiaolu was named as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. She has directed several award-winning films including She, A Chinese, and documentaries about China and Britain. She was a judge for the Booker Prize in 2019, and is currently a visiting professor at Columbia University in New York.
Stunning...This book will make your jaw drop, then clench in anger.
-- Helen Brown * Telegraph *
Guo is rebellious, flamboyant and fundamentally optimistic...fascinating. -- Stuart Kelly * Scotland on Sunday *
Riveting...Guo is an angrier, bolder, more ambitious figure than her forebears. * The Times *
Utterly compelling... She writes superbly about her struggle to escape the constraints of gender, poverty and state interference. This extraordinary memoir will enhance her burgeoning reputation. -- Ian Critchley * Sunday Times *
Aside from the fast-paced plot, this is most interesting for its probing portrayal of Guo's ambivalent relationship with her homeland... An impressive feature of this moving and often exhilarating book is the brutality of her portrait of her parents. -- Lara Feigel * Financial Times *