I Am China

I Am China

3.71 (898 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In a flat above a noisy north London market, translator Iona Kirkpatrick starts work on a Chinese letter: Dearest Mu, The sun is piercing, old bastard sky. I am feeling empty and bare. Nothing is in my soul, apart from the image of you. I am writing to you from a place I cannot tell you about yet...

In a detention centre in Dover exiled Chinese musician Jian is awaiting an unknown fate. In Beijing his girlfriend Mu sends desperate letters to London to track him down, her last memory of them together a roaring rock concert and Jian the king on stage. Until the state police stormed in.

As Iona unravels the story of these Chinese lovers from their first flirtations at Beijing University to Jian's march in the Jasmine Revolution, Jian and Mu seem to be travelling further and further away from each other while Iona feels more and more alive. Intoxicated by their romance, Iona sets out to bring them back together, but time seems to be running out.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 27mm | 412g
  • CHATTO & WINDUS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0701188200
  • 9780701188207
  • 478,580

Review Text

"Heart-wrenching... An extraordinary and important book" Charlie Cooper Independent
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Review quote

Heart-wrenching... An extraordinary and important book -- Charlie Cooper * Independent * Beautifully written... Genuinely affecting... Exceptional * Scotland on Sunday * An ambitious, thought-provoking and engaging narrative -- Jane Shilling * Evening Standard * Beautifully rendered * New York Times * Beautifully done -- Viv Groskop * Red *
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About Xiaolu Guo

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.
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Rating details

898 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 22% (199)
4 39% (351)
3 28% (250)
2 9% (81)
1 2% (17)
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