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  • Published: 1 March 2008
  • ISBN: 9780099501473
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $19.99

A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers

(Vintage Voyages)




What happens when a Chinese girl adrift in Britain falls for an Englishman adrift in life: a funny, sexy, romantic novel.

Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2007.

Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction

Twenty-three-year-old Zhuang (or Z as she calls herself - Westerners cannot pronounce her name) arrives in London to spend a year learning English. Struggling to find her way in the city, and through the puzzles of tense, verb and adverb; she falls for an older Englishman and begins to realise that the landscape of love is an even trickier terrain...

Xiaolu Guo was named as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists

  • Published: 1 March 2008
  • ISBN: 9780099501473
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

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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Praise for A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers

Written in deliberately bad English, this is a wonderful comic romance

Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

Guo uses her minimalist messed-up prose not just to tell an affecting coming-of-age story but to ask deep questions about the real differences between Chinese and British culture and language

Independent on Sunday

Funny and charming...more than a love story; its psychology is politically acute, and things noted lightly in it linger in the mind

Guardian

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

Amy Tan

Captivating, charming and bittersweet...the culture clash is beautifully drawn and utterly convincing...a memorable take on East meets West

Daily Express

This is a troubling, humane, and emotionally provocative novel which possesses the unusual quality of forcing the reader to think

Irish Times

A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers is an intriguing, funny and unusual novel about what gets lost in translation

Herald

An uplifting novel with moments of great poignancy and pathos

Tatler

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