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Radical

Radical

A Life of My Own

by Xiaolu Guo
Paperback
Publication Date: 12/04/2023

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The new memoir from prize-winning writer and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo - playful, provocative and original, it's her deeply personal take on striving for a life of her own

The world can seem strange and lonely when you step away from your family and everything you have tried to call your own. Yet beauty may also appear. In the autumn of 2019 Xiaolu travelled to New York to take up her position as a visiting professor for a year, leaving her child and partner behind in London. The encounter with American culture and people threatens her sense of identity and throws her into a crisis - of meaning, desire, obligation and selfhood.

This is a memoir about separation - by continents, by language, and from people. It's about being an outsider and the desperate longing to connect. Xiaolu uses her exploration of language (one of the meanings of the word 'radical' is the graphic component, or root, of Chinese characters), and her own life, to create this unique text. At once a memoir, a dictionary, and an ardent love letter, it is an expression of her fascination with Western culture and her nostalgia for Eastern landscapes, and an attempt to describe the space in between. An archive of an artist's search for creative freedom, it is above all else an intimate account of her efforts to carve out a life of her own.

ISBN:
9781784744878
9781784744878
Category:
Language: history & general works
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
12-04-2023
Language:
English
Publisher:
Penguin Random House
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Pages:
320
Dimensions (mm):
213x136x26mm
Weight:
0.35kg
Xiaolu Guo

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.

The English translation of Village of Stone was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Her first novel written in English, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, and 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth, published in 2008, was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize.

Her most recent novel, I Am China, 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.

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