Life as a film extra in Beijing might seem hard, but Fenfang won't be defeated. She has travelled 1800 miles to seek her fortune in the city, and has no desire to return to the never-ending sweet potato fields back home. Determined to live a modern life, Fenfang works as a cleaner in the Young Pioneer's movie theatre, falls in love with unsuitable men and keeps her kitchen cupboard stocked with UFO instant noodles. As Fenfang might say, Heavenly Bastard in the Sky, isn't it about time I got my lucky break?
Longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize.
A nihilistic, Generation X-style manifesto... Its impudent, hand-on-hip attitude cannot fail to charm
Funny and melancholy, scintillatingly observed, and has a very big heart
Both a personal odyssey and an insightful commentary about modern Chinese society and life itself... Xiaolu Guo is an instinctive, humane witness, her atmospheric, unusually physical narratives are alive and attractively insistent, inspired variations on the theme of quest
A pure and bracing blast of universal youth... I loved it. It shines with the utterly blameless, scarily fragile arrogance of youth itself, the absolute certainty that death is better than middle age
A breath of the freshest air imaginable. She cuts through the smog of hype and platitude