By Xiaolu Guo
The most recent novel from Orange Prize finalist Xiaolu Guo is the enchantingly shaggy dog story of a tender chinese language woman's lifestyles as a movie additional in hyper-modern, tumultuous Beijing.Though twenty-one-year-old Fenfang Wang has traveled 1,800 miles to hunt her fortune in city Beijing, she is ill-prepared for what greets her: a Communist regime that has outworn its welcome, a urban in slap-dash improvement, and a sexist perspective extra in line with her peasant upbringing than the country's innovative capital. yet after gaining knowledge of the fever and tumult of town, Fenfang finally unearths her precise independence within the one position she by no means anticipated.
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Still, I wasn't going to take it lying down. Once, I was stalking an enormous one when it made a surprise move and vanished into an electric socket. There was a crackle, a few sparks, and that was the end of that. Heavenly Bastard in the Sky, these cockroaches were sadomasochists, looking for the most painful way to die. Once I swallowed one while absent-mindedly drinking my tea. Traumatised, I rang the local chemist. The voice on the line was gently reassuring: cockroaches were not poisonous, ingesting one would cause me no harm.
I rushed towards Mao to find my ID card. John Lennon had moved on to 'Strawberry Fields Forever'. I hurried back to the policemen – I could not let them look in the bathroom. The officer examined my ID closely. I'd never bought a fake certificate for anything, even though you could get them easily, sold by dodgy men under bridges and on street corners. You could buy yourself a Masters Degree from Oxford if you needed one, an MBA from Harvard, even a document to prove you were disabled. I'd never done it though, all my papers were real.
I couldn't remember. Fuck. Xiaolin or Ben? I knew it was one of them, and that it was said in bed, in the dark depths of a winter's night, when we were both starving and all the shops were closed. But who the fuck was it? UFO instant noodles. UFO instant noodles. Heavenly Bastard in the Sky, I'd have given away all my best DVDs if only I could have remembered. I sat there staring at the box of noodles. How was it that in this cold city on this cold winter's morning I could get a telephone call asking me to play a dwarf's bride?
20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo