Já jsem Čína
V detenčním centru v Doveru čeká vyhoštěný čínský hudebník na sv ...more
2 "a tad ridiculous, a bit pretentious, really tried to like it...." stars.
Gosh, this book tried to do so much and achieved very little.
By all means this book coulda and shoulda have been a winner but it failed on so many counts.
It had so many themes that I love in fiction- alienation, romantic love, family history, politics, attempts at cross cultural understanding, myths, dreams etc etc etc. All these ingredients were there and so many more. She kept adding to this International stew- Mongol, ...more
First off I want to say the book description is kind of misleading. A little over half the story is about the relationship between Mu and Jian. However, a good chunk of the story is about Iona. Iona is hired to translate Mu and Jian's letters and diaries. It is Iona's story that knocked this down from a 5 Star read.
I loved Mu from the start. I feel she was the real heart and soul of th ...more
I was deeply engrossed by the poetic language and attention to details. The prose is elegant and smooth. At times the mood and atmosphere i ...more
Second of all, let me say that I didn't pick it up because of the cover. I picked it up because I read Guo's UFO in Her Eyes earlier this year and loved it. And if I loved that book, I adored this one even more.
The premise really intrigued me. A young Scottish translator reading a jumble of letters and diary entries between two lovers -- Mu and Jian. I love the structure of this novel, the translator (Iona) picks up a page and starts to t ...more
I Am China is unmistakably vaster, as its brazen title might suggest. Gone are Guo's snowglobe settings where the entire tale takes place ...more
Maybe it is because Xiaolu Guo is writing about her native land - thinking in Chinese, mentally translating - that the language of the story often feel ...more
I Am China by Xiaolu Guo
Review by Chris Craddock
I Am China by Xiaolu Guo begins with Iona Kirkpatrick, a Scottish woman described as resembling Winona Ryder, receiving a package of letters and journals in Chinese for her to translate. She is newly graduated but up to the task, though it takes a while for the characters to emerge, and for their story to make sense. Iona was named for the Scottish Isle, and she herself is also a rocky and isolated island. Though she goe ...more
Iona is a lonely Chinese translator who is one day given a parcel of letters and diaries with no information about who they belong to. The fragments are jumbled and some hard to read,but she pieces together the stories of Jian and Mu. Jian, a popular Chinese punk musician is in exile in Europe after releasing his ‘manifesto’ into the crowd at a concert. He writes to his love, Mu, and to himself i ...more
so... i found much about this novel fascinating. i have read very little fiction that shines a light on post-tiannamen square china. so the cultural insights were very interesting. as well, i liked the format of the novel: a translator based in london receives a mess of letters and journals and it's up to her to not only translate the work from chinese to ...more
This was a strange book, in that, I don't know whether I enjoyed it or not. I have read three other books by Xiaolu Guo, but that was too long ago to remember whether I liked her style, her prose, or her plots. I picked this up on name recognition alone, though, so she must have left some sort of impression on me.
I'm wavering on whether to give thi ...more
Iona translates ...more
The story of the 2 lovers, written by the way of diary fragments and a collection of notes that unfolds itself as the translator works her way through them, the life of the translator itself, these elements give a special feeling to this book.
The story is not clear from the beginning, the translation of the chinese is not allways unambiguous, the life of the MC’s not clear. The book reads a bit like a detective trying to unravel the love story, the past of it and its devastati ...more
I'm incredibly greatful to have won this book from Doubleday through GoodReads Giveaways!
This book is unlike anything I've read before with the way it was written. Everything links together with Iona, a Chinese translator in London who's assigned documents to decipher made of letters and diaries. The documents are written between Kublai Jian, a Chinese musician removed from his country because of his "manifesto" (which remains a mystery for much of the book) and his lover, Mu. Iona translates th...more
The Chinese perspectives are embodied in the c ...more
What I liked: The format of the story was quite a bit different than what I'm used to. It's a bit hard to explain, but I liked it. The language in this book is absolutely beautiful and helps shape the story in so many ways. I loved the fragments of handwriting and photographs that were included because they help reveal more about the characters of Mu and Jian. The three main characters in this boo ...more
Maybe one day I'll edit this review but I'm sure whatever I say here won't justify my feelings.
Her novel A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary For Lovers was nominated for the 2007 Orange Prize f ...more