Books newlight on 28 Feb 2007
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
by Xiaolu Guo
I have to admit I didn’t read the whole book. I borrowed a copy from my friend but only had enough time to have a quick glance. I read the beginning when the protagonist Zhuang Xiaoqiao is on a plane to the UK, some bits in the middle, including an excerpt appeared on The Times, and the last several pages. So this is not a review, rather my impression on this book.
The plot is simple. Zhuang Xiaoqiao, a young woman comes to the UK to study English, with little knowledge of the country, and the language. She meets an artist in London. They becomes lovers and she moves into his flat in the rough side of London. She explores the culture, language, and sex through him. She feels increasingly lost when she knows better about the English (in the broad sense) and decides to go back to China. The circle ends. The story is narrated solely from the Zhuang Xiaoqiao’s point of view, using a dictionary-like structure, hence the book title.