Monday, 14 September 2009
My Thoughts: A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo
I brought this book when it very first was released and was a feature of many reviews, it then sat on the shelves looking lonely since.
The book is a journal of a Chinese student, Z during her year long visit to England. As the book starts she is entering England and is shocked by the things around her - the expense, the food, the lack of friendliness. One night sitting alone in the cinema she is smiled at by a man, by the end of the evening she has falle in love and she has invited herself to live with him. This relationship then adds to her mix of emotions, not only does she have to fit into a new country but also a new relationship in which nothing is certain, for she has fallen in love with a drifter, a man who can make no commitment.
The language starts off in very stark broken English, but as the book progresses her English improves vastly with only a few mistakes popping up. She also has a dictionary definition at the start of each chapter and it becomes apparent how words we use everyday are not clearly defined in a dictionary - they have nuances which cannot or have not been defined.
A great read.