A Lover's Discourse

A Lover's Discourse

Summary

'A fragmentary meditation on the nature of love' Guardian

A Chinese woman comes to post-Brexit London to start over - just as the Brexit campaign reaches a fever pitch.

Isolated and lonely in a Britain increasingly hostile to foreigners, she meets a landscape architect and the two begin to build their future together.

Playing with language and the cultural differences that our narrator encounters as she settles into her new life, the lovers must navigate their differences and their romance, whether on their unmoored houseboat or in a cramped apartment in east London. Suffused with a wonderful sense of humour, this intimate novel asks what it means to make a home and a family in a new land.

Reviews

  • Guo is an unsparing noticer. The truthfulness and accuracy of Guo's language gives the book mischief and energy. There are shades of Lydia Davis in her carefully etched sentences as she details the ups and downs of the relationship without sentimentality. . . . Along the way, it's capacious enough to touch on moments of real darkness, while somehow managing to be mordant, funny and, ultimately, life-affirming
    Marcel Theroux, New York Times

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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