Grove Press | October 2017 | 366 pgs
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

This part coming-of-age, part memoir chronicles Chinese-born writer, Xiaolu Guo's journey from her homeland in Shitang (a fishing village where her grandparents reside) to the West. For those who aren't familiar with Xiaolu Guo, she is the author of A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers (her first novel written in English and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction) and her latest release, I Am China, which I adored (one of my top reads in 2015.) There are a few other titles which I didn't list here.

Xiaolu Guo has learned the hard life since young when she witnessed her grandparents' depression and poverty back then. She left for Beijing to study in 1993 and vowed never to return to that stifling backwater again. It is also through this determination and her curious mind to seek a life beyond the borders limits to where she is today.

Filled with many snippets of memories, nostalgia and what influenced Xiaolu Guo, this book is her personal record of the journey she has travelled and the things she has experienced which allow her readers to learn and to understand more about her.

Reading this book also gave me a glimpse of China between the 80s and 90s. (I'd only visited Guangzhou and Shenzhen and that was about ten years ago.) It was interesting to see how the Cultural Revolution shaped the Chinese, and how their economy has changed throughout the years. Although I rarely read nonfiction or memoir, I found myself enjoying this book and that I've learned so much more about Xiaolu Guo.

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8 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Memoirs can be horribly boring or very fascinating. I'm glad this one was the latter.

  2. Melody Says:

    Jenny - Yes, it all depends on the author and the subject I suppose. Anyway I'm glad I read this one as I like the author's work.

  3. jenclair Says:

    I think this sounds good. I generally like nonfiction, and I do like getting an inside view of another culture. This one seems like it would be interesting in a way to examine changes in a society.

  4. Iliana Says:

    I don't read a lot of memoirs either but I think this one would be fascinating mainly because the author's experiences are so different from mine.

  5. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Hope you'll give her books a try one day. :)

  6. Melody Says:

    Iliana - That's true and that's one reason I read this, aside that I enjoyed reading her other books.

  7. Lark Says:

    This sounds so good! I've been trying to read more non-fiction...because I do really like it...and this is just the kind of non-fiction book I tend to love. So thanks for the rec! :)

  8. Melody Says:

    Lark - Hope you'll enjoy it! :)

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