By Xiaolu Guo

The newest 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 angle extra according to her peasant upbringing than the country's revolutionary capital. yet after learning the fever and tumult of town, Fenfang eventually reveals her real independence within the one position she by no means anticipated.

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The true power of Justice in Beijing. It was only as I was leaving that I finally understood what it had all been about. ' The other policeman leant towards him conspiratorially. 'Don't worry, she deserved it anyway. She's no good, that girl. ' From inside the building came the sound of police dogs barking. I turned my back on that place of Morality and Power and Guidance. Because I was the first of our unfortunate gang of criminals to be released, I felt compelled to do something for my companions.

So I started my own self-examination. But the crimes I remembered didn't seem that bad. There was that one time in a term exam at middle school when I'd used a crib sheet. There was that time at the cinema when I'd found a gold ring under a seat, which, I admit, I kept. I kept the English dictionary too, but didn't feel that really counted since I perpetrated this deed in order to reeducate myself. And then there was the mobile phone I'd found. I'd definitely handed that to the boss, I was sure.

The river was the only thing that talked to me. My parents certainly didn't. Our house was a house of silence, just like the sweet potatoes quietly growing and dying under the black soil. Those vast, silent fields surrounded our village like a wall. They stretched across the hills and into the distance – sweet potatoes as far as the eye could see. Only the river made a noise, only the river was my friend – but, even then, I couldn't get close to it. I used to imagine the source of the river. Some faraway, hidden cave that was home to a beautiful fairy.

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