A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
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Language and love collide in this inventive novel of a young Chinese woman's journey to the West and her attempts to understand the language, and the man, she adores.Zhuang – or “Z,” to tongue-tied foreigners – has come to London to study English, but finds herself adrift, trapped in a cycle of cultural gaffes and grammatical mishaps. Then she meets an Englishman who changes everything, leading her into a world of self-discovery. She soon realizes that, in the West, “love” does not always mean the same as in China, and that you can learn all the words in the English language and still not understand your lover. And as the novel progresses with steadily improving grammar and vocabulary, Z's evolving voice makes her quest for comprehension all the more poignant. With sparkling wit, Xiaolu Guo has created an utterly original novel about identity and the cultural divide.
eggs, like two half of apples. In the middle of apples, a penis like little wounded bird. I walk to him and touch. Is made of plaster. I amazed by this body, is huge, looks suffered. I remember picture from Michelangelo’s David on your bookshelf, a very healthy and balanced body. But yours, yours far different. Beside this body statue, some other smalls clay sculptures. Ear, big like basin, in brown. Shape of that ear spread like a big flower. Then more ears, different shape, different size.
honey. Anyway, on the highway of M40, I have my dictionaries to check out what exactly that beach/beech is. Collins tells me that is a European tree, but when I look my little Concise dictionary, says it is a tree called “Shan Mao Ju,” which grows everywhere in China. We cut those trees for lighting fires in kitchen. We used to carry baskets and collect their nutty seeds when we were little. The woods are dark, lush, and wet. Trees are huge, tall, and solid. The whole woods are growing
means. Dilemma. Knowing this word, I also learn these words: paradox, contradictory, alternative. “If I leave this country, or say we split up, what you will do?” I ask. “I don’t want to be with another woman.” “Why?” “I don’t want to.” “Why you don’t want another lover?” “I just want to be on my own.” ‘“Really? And you don’t want to be with a man lover either?” “No. I don’t want anybody.” “Really?” I think I don’t understand you. “Really. Look, you need me, and your love is a need. But
opposite corner of the room, staring at me. I don’t want to answer. “I know what you are writing, actually.” You voice sounds vague. Not only vague, but also cold. You turn your back and throw me the last sentence before we go to bed: “AT LEAST YOU’RE STILL LEARNING A LOT. EVEN IF EVERYTHING IS BROKEN.” You voice horrifies me. You leave me, and disappear into the bedroom. race n. 1. a contest of speed; 2. any competition or rivalry, e.g. the arms race; 3. a rapid current or channel.
government work unit! You think you can reshape your feet to fit new shoes? How are you going to live without government medical insurance? What if I die soon? And what if your father dies as well?” She always threatens to die the next day. Whenever it comes to this deadly subject, I can only keep my mouth shut. “Are you waiting for rabbits to knock themselves out on trees, so you can catch them without any effort?! I don’t understand young people today. Your father and I have worked like dogs,