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A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers: A Novel Hardcover – Sep 4 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Sep 4 2007
CDN$ 59.87 CDN$ 4.00

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Nan A. Talese; 1st Edition edition (Sept. 4 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385520298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385520294
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 2.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,379,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Publishers Weekly

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 foreigners, arrives in London at age 23 after being dispatched by her parents to get an education. Her immersion and painful education are laid bare to readers, who witness Z's vocabulary, grammar and understanding blossom throughout her diarylike account, sped along by an intense romance with a man met at the cinema. Her consuming love begins promisingly, but her failure to interpret her lover's lifestyle as a hippie drifter (who's 20 years her senior) alerts readers to potential trouble in paradise, even while such a notion remains beyond Z's not-yet-jaded imagination. The novel overflows with gentle jokes about culture shock and language barriers including Z's inability to understand why Brits bother talking about the weather when it's obvious—but there are deeper observations beneath the humor. Z's comically earnest exploration of a sex shop illuminates the pathos of Western seediness, and her encounters with men reveal both the exploitative and meaningful sides of romance. Z's unique, evolving voice fits perfectly for a heroine whose naïveté is matched by a willingness to relay the truth. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Praise for A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers

"A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers is original, humorous, and wise. Within imperfect language one can find many perfect truths of the human condition. The misunderstandings are really the understandings of the differences of the heart between men and women."
—Amy Tan

“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

“Xiaolu Guo’s novel, her first in English, is smartly absorbing. ‘A’ ”
Entertainment Weekly

“as absorbing as a peek into a diary.”
San Diego Union-Tribune

“Endearing…. Concise takes us into a new territory, all the more exciting for its virginity.”
Chicago Sun-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

"[The narrator's] voice is funny, childlike and wise all at once."
Los Angeles Times

“Funny and charming . . . more than a love story; its psychology is politically acute, and things noted lightly in it linger in the mind.”
The Guardian (London)

"An inventive, often humorous and poignant story of a woman's journey over cultural and emotional borders."
-Ms. Magazine

A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers cleverly courts our assumptions about the chasm between Chinese and Western cultures, only to upend them. It is an utterly captivating, and disorientating, journey both through language and through love.”
The Independent (London)

“It is impossible not to be charmed by Xiaolu Guo’s matter-of-factness. As A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers grows in complexity with [the main character’s] growing vocabulary—the narration acquires fluency and tenses almost imperceptibly—it is equally hard not to be impressed by Guo’s vivacious talent.”
Sunday Times (London)

“Xiaolu Guo is a fabulous writer, fresh, witty, and intelligent. She handles language in an astonishing way. I don't think I have enjoyed a book as much in the last twelve months.”
—Joanne Harris

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7 customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

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