By Xiaolu Guo

The most recent novel from Orange Prize finalist Xiaolu Guo is the enchantingly funny 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 perspective extra according to her peasant upbringing than the country's innovative capital. yet after learning the fever and tumult of town, Fenfang finally 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

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If I didn't, the state could not be held responsible for anything that might happen to me. It was this last sentence that really did it for me. 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.

It might be Huizi. But then it occurred to me – Huizi barely called anyone. He didn't get too involved with the details of his friends' lives. He was private, shut tight like a fortress. His short crew-cut and refined manners gave him the air of a Buddhist monk. Huizi would say, never look back to the past. Never regret. Even if there is emptiness ahead, never look back. I hung on to those words. I depended on them. I buried myself even further under the covers and could have stayed there another four hours just dreaming and listening to the damn telephone ring, but I forced myself to think logically.

Heavenly Bastard in the Sky, how I hated them – and here it was just the same. Whenever it wasn't raining, the old cocks and hens would occupy the whole yard, squatting or sitting on the ground. Instead of being Zen, they would gossip about the woman from the 13th floor who had remarried so quickly after her divorce, or the man with glasses on the eighth floor who refused the free condoms from the One Child Policy Committee, or the grey cat from Room 304 that got pregnant by the black cat from Room 805 whose owner was a Catholic.

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