A Lover’s Discourse
‘A fragmentary meditation on the nature of love’ Guardian
A Chinese woman comes to post-Brexit London to start over – just as the Brexit campaign reaches a fever pitch.
Isolated and lonely in a Britain increasingly hostile to foreigners, she meets a landscape architect and the two begin to build their future together.
Playing with language and the cultural differences that our narrator encounters as she settles into her new life, the lovers must navigate their differences and their romance, whether on their unmoored houseboat or in a cramped apartment in east London. Suffused with a wonderful sense of humour, this intimate novel asks what it means to make a home and a family in a new land.
Guo is an unsparing noticer. The truthfulness and accuracy of Guo's language gives the book mischief and energy. There are shades of Lydia Davis in her carefully etched sentences as she details the ups and downs of the relationship without sentimentality. . . . Along the way, it's capacious enough to touch on moments of real darkness, while somehow managing to be mordant, funny and, ultimately, life-affirming -- Marcel Theroux * New York Times * A fragmentary meditation on the nature of love, on desire and on connection between two humans . . . this book sets off cross-cultural echoes with the lightest of strokes -- Aida Edemariam * Guardian * Xiaolu Guo writes with tremendous delicacy and nuance about migration, language, alienation, and love . . . Guo has pared down every tiny chapter to its poetic essence so as to let the largest themes emerge, thus taking the reader from the verbal to something approaching the numinous -- Mike Cormack * Spectator * A story told with charm that will leave you in a ponderous mood -- Susannah Butter * Evening Standard * Guo's latest novel . . . demonstrates how much can be achieved when narrative is cut loose from plot and scene-setting in favour of free-floating reflection -- Anthony Cummins * i *
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