Laura (laura0218) wrote,

A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers

A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
Xiaolu Guo
283 pages

This is the story of Zhuang, a 23-year-old woman who arrives in London to spend a year learning English. She is never far from her "concise Chinese-English dictionary," looking up words and keeping a diary of her new vocabulary. Early in her stay she meets an older man and quickly moves in with him. Through their intense relationship she learns the language, and much more about "the West," about her sexuality, and about herself.

The book is written in the first person, organized by month. Zhuang's language improved over time, and so did her ability to tell her story. Her feelings of confusion and isolation were most well developed. If there was one aspect i didn't like, it was that Zhuang's world was entirely centered on men. There were very few other women in this story, and all were ancillary characters. I would have liked this book more had Zhuang also grown as an independent woman. ( )
Tags: orange prize project, review
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