Once Upon a Time in the East: A Story of Growing Up

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Vintage, 2018 - 317 síđur
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*Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award*
*Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award*
*Shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize*
*Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2018*
*A Sunday Times Book of the Year*


Xiaolu Guo meets her parents for the first time when she is almost seven. They are strangers to her.

When she is born in 1973, her parents hand her over to a childless peasant couple in the mountains. Aged two, and suffering from malnutrition on a diet of yam leaves, they leave Xiaolu with her illiterate grandparents in a fishing village on the East China Sea.

Once Upon a Time in the East takes Xiaolu from a run-down shack to film school in a rapidly changing Beijing, navigating the everyday peculiarity of modern China- censorship, underground art, Western boyfriends. In 2002 she leaves Beijing on a scholarship to study in Britain. Now, after a decade in Europe, her tale of East to West resonates with the insight that can only come from someone who is both an outsider and at home.

'This generation's Wild Swans' Daily Telegraph

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Um höfundinn (2018)

Xiaolu Guo was born in China. She published six books before moving to Britain in 2002. Her books include- Village of Stone, shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize; A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, shortlisted for the Orange Prize; and I Am China. Her recent memoir, Once Upon a Time in the East, won the National Book Critics Circle Award, was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and the Rathbones Folio Prize 2018. It was a Sunday Times Book of the Year. Her most recent novel A Lover's Discourse was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2020. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a visiting professor at the Free University in Berlin.

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