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 existence 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 perspective extra in response to her peasant upbringing than the country's revolutionary capital. yet after getting to know the fever and tumult of town, Fenfang eventually unearths her real independence within the one position she by no means anticipated.
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Extra resources for 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth
He told me to get a black-and-white passport photo and go to the office at the Beijing Film Studios. Who would have thought an umbrella could play such a key role in the design of my future? I returned a crappy old umbrella to an Assistant Film Director and, one month later, I was working as an extra, earning 20 yuan for a day's work. Finally I was getting closer to the shiny things. YOU CAN CHECK ANY CHINESE DICTIONARY, there's no word for romance. We say 'Lo Man', copying the English pronunciation.
Mao was choking on the mounting evidence that I was becoming someone who could contribute to the modern state. In fact, this drawer became so crucial to my official identity that, if an earthquake had hit Beijing, it would have been the first thing I saved. My microwave, my Panda 12-inch TV, my Sanyo DVD player, my rice cooker, my noisy fridge, even my Rocket-5 laptop – they could remain where they were. None of them meant as much. The most important thing about the Chairman Mao drawer was that it drew a line between me and the immigrant workers who were only temporary residents.
A 17-year-old who thought that drinking a can of ice-cold Coke was the greatest thing ever. I lugged my suitcase from one hotel to the next. Hotels weren't for peasants, I knew that. So what was I doing? Even if I'd had pockets full of yuan, they wouldn't have let me in. Each time I passed a hotel, the doorman's face confirmed that fact. It was obvious what those bastards were thinking: what are you doing here, peasant? I needed to find a cheap place instead, but all the cut-price hostels were in basements and I wasn't so crazy about spending my first night underground.