Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo [in Bloomsbury Review]
Although published over a decade ago in Guo’s native China – and since reworked in English by the author herself – Guo’s story set in a new China rushing toward modernization will surely have a long 21st-century shelf life. Guo’s young heroine, Fenfang, is a naïve yet determined village girl looking for love in all the wrong places in too-rapidly changing contemporary Beijing. Without any precedents to guide her, she turns to the available pop culture around her – pirated and out of date … Betty Blue? Tennessee Williams? – as she struggles between homesickness for her family and old life and working to create an accurate new identity.
Review: “TBR’s Editors’ Favorites of 2008,” The Bloomsbury Review, November/December 2008
Published: 2008 (United States)