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Once Upon A Time in the East: A Story of Growing up Hardcover – 26 Jan 2017
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"Stunning...This book will make your jaw drop, then clench in anger." (Helen Brown Telegraph)
"Guo is rebellious, flamboyant and fundamentally optimistic...fascinating." (Stuart Kelly Scotland on Sunday)
"Riveting...Guo is an angrier, bolder, more ambitious figure than her forebears." (The Times)
"Utterly compelling... She writes superbly about her struggle to escape the constraints of gender, poverty and state interference. This extraordinary memoir will enhance her burgeoning reputation." (Ian Critchley Sunday Times)
"Aside from the fast-paced plot, this is most interesting for its probing portrayal of Guo’s ambivalent relationship with her homeland… An impressive feature of this moving and often exhilarating book is the brutality of her portrait of her parents." (Lara Feigel Financial Times)
"This generation's Wild Swans" (Daily Telegraph)
"A new Wild Swans. A compelling memoir fit to sit alongside Jung Chang’s classic" (Sunday Times)
"This autobiography is her account of fiery, artistic defiance and a testament to the act of storytelling as a way to break the silence... Guo writes in the audacious, restless and fragmented prose that has become her imprint: a feverish style that can be as merciless as the world she portrays." (Megan Walsh New Statesman)
About the Author
Xiaolu Guo was born in south China. She studied film at the Beijing Film Academy and published six books in China before she moved 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 for Fiction, 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth which was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize, and I Am China which was longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. In 2013 she was named as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. Xiaolu has also directed several award-winning films including She, A Chinese and a documentary about London, Late at Night. She lives in London and Berlin.
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An interesting read that continues to illustrate the challenges Guo describes in using the English language when she first came to the UK.
A very intelligent and capable woman with impressive achievements in her life yet seemed to lack empathy and self awareness. Her dismissiveness of her mother, who lacked an education that Guo was given, seems self indulgent. Her own contrariness which follows that of her mother in ignoring convention and defying family pressures goes unacknowledged.
Her self promotion and claims to know everyone else feelings and motivations makes this more of a self promotional book than a reflect piece about her own life.
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