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.
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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.Review:
"A nihilistic, Generation X-style manifesto... Its impudent, hand-on-hip attitude cannot fail to charm" * New Statesman * "Funny and melancholy, scintillatingly observed, and has a very big heart" * The Times * "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" * Irish Times * "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" * Daily Telegraph * "A breath of the freshest air imaginable. She cuts through the smog of hype and platitude" -- Boyd Tonkin * Independent *
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