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

Twenty-three-year-old Zhuang (or Z as she calls herself) 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...

Reviews

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

Ursula K Le Guin, Guardian

It is impossible not to be charmed by her matter-of-factness. As the story grows in complexity with Z's growing vocabulary - the narration acquires fluency and tenses almost imperceptibly - it is equally hard not to be impressed by Guo's vivacious talent

Sophie Harrison, Sunday Times

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

Claire Kilroy, Irish Times

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

Sally Kinnes, Herald

Charming, bittersweet novel...compelling...The culture clash...is beautifully drawn and utterly convincing...A memorable take on East meets West

Jane Housha, Daily Express

An uplifting novel with moments of great poignancy and pathos

Tatler

An utterly captivating, and disorientating, journey both through language and through love

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

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Formats & editions

  • EBook

    9781407065588

    July 1, 2010

    Vintage Digital

    368 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
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    • eBooks
  • Paperback

    9781784875312

    August 6, 2019

    Vintage Classics

    368 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
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    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Paperback

    9780099501473

    March 1, 2008

    Vintage

    368 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au