'It is hard not to be impressed by Guo's vivacious talent' Sunday Times A story of desire, love and language - and the meaning of home - told through conversations between two lovers A Chinese woman comes to London to start a new life, away from her old world. She knew she would be lonely, adrift in the city, but will her new relationship bring her closer to this land she has chosen, will their love give her a home? A Lover's Discourse is an exploration of romantic love told through fragments of conversations between the two lovers. Playing with language and the cultural differences that her narrator encounters as she settles into life in a post-Brexit Britain, Xiaolu Guo shows us how this couple navigate these differences, and their romance, whether on their unmoored houseboat or in a stifling flatshare in east London, or journeying through other continents together. Suffused with a wonderful sense of humour, this intimate and tender novel asks universal questions- what is the meaning of home when we've been uprooted? How can a man and woman be together? And how best to find solid ground in a world of uncertainty?
Number of Pages: 288
Publication Date: 13 Aug 2020
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Dimensions (cm): 21.6(H) x 13.5(L) x 13.5(W)
Weight (gm): 287
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 *
A fragmentary meditation on the nature of love, on desire and on connection between two humans . . . this book sets off cross-cultural echoes with the lightest of strokes -- Aida Edemariam * Guardian *
Xiaolu Guo writes with tremendous delicacy and nuance about migration, language, alienation, and love . . . Guo has pared down every tiny chapter to its poetic essence so as to let the largest themes emerge, thus taking the reader from the verbal to something approaching the numinous -- Mike Cormack * Spectator *
A story told with charm that will leave you in a ponderous mood -- Susannah Butter * Evening Standard *
Guo's latest novel . . . demonstrates how much can be achieved when narrative is cut loose from plot and scene-setting in favour of free-floating reflection -- Anthony Cummins * i *
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.