Twenty-three-year-old Zhuang (or Z as she calls herself) arrives in London to spend a year learning English.
Struggling to find her way in the city, and through the puzzles of tense, verb and adverb; she falls for an older Englishman and begins to realise that the landscape of love is an even trickier terrain.
Author Biography: Xiaolu Guo was born in 1973 in a fishing village in south China. She studied film at Beijing Film Academy, worked as a screenwriter and film teacher as well as writing several books in Chinese. Xiaolu moved to London in 2002 where she began a diary written in English which became the seed for the novel A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers. Village of Stone, a novel first published in China, appeared in English translation in 2004.
"Written in deliberately bad English, this is a wonderful comic romance" -- Eileen Battersby * Irish Times *
"An utterly captivating, and disorientating, journey both through language and through love" * Independent *
"Guo uses her minimalist messed-up prose not just to tell an affecting coming-of-age story but to ask deep questions about the real differences between Chinese and British culture and language" * Independent on Sunday *
"Funny and charming...more than a love story; its psychology is politically acute, and things noted lightly in it linger in the mind" * Guardian *
"It is impossible not to be charmed by her matter-of-factness. As the story grows in complexity with Z's growing vocabulary - the narration acquires fluency and tenses almost imperceptibly - it is equally hard not to be impressed by Guo's vivacious talent" * Sunday Times *