Sunday, 24 July 2011

20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth (Xiaolu Guo)

20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth. Xiaolu GuoTitle: 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth
Author: Xiaolu Guo
Translated By: Rebecca Morris (with revisions by Pamela Casey)
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
Publication Date (English Edition): 2008
Source: Book club (borrowed)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Translated Literature
Location: Beijing

20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth is a fantastic title for this novel. The book introduces us to Fenfang, a peasant who leaves the sweet potato fields of home to travel 1,800 miles to Beijing. It provides us with 20 snippets of her life as she battles to find her place in this modern city.

Each fragment is augmented by a picture of Chinese living that brilliantly illustrates what daily life is like in this culture and each fragment reveals an important moment in her young life. Even if these moments seem mundane you get a sense that everything that happens to us, whether big or small, helps define who we are.

It's a nice short read although because of this some may find it lacks a little in content but I found this a fascinating insight into the life of a young Chinese woman.

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20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by  Xiaolu Guo

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  1. This book reminds me of Red Azalea by Anchee Min. It's a memoir of her life growing up under the Mao's regime. It could be a good read for you.

  2. Thanks so much for the suggestion! I sometimes struggle with memoirs as I find the format of the writing in a lot of them just not quite for me but I really would love to learn a bit more about this time in China so I might need to give this one a try.

  3. Great review... I am really interested in this one!

  4. This does sound interesting :) Thanks!