I Am China

I Am China

A Novel

Book - 2014
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Rock 'n' roll, revolution, and romance are seductively woven together in this intense and moving novel from the author of Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth
 
In her flat in north London, Iona Kirkpatrick sets to work on a new project translating a collection of letters and diaries by a Chinese musician. With each letter and journal entry, Iona becomes more and more intrigued with the unfolding story of two lovers: Jian, a punk rocker who believes there is no art without political commitment, and Mu, the young woman he loves as fiercely as his ideals.
 
Iona cannot possibly know that Jian is mere miles away in Dover, awaiting the uncertain fate of a political exile. Mu is still in Beijing, writing letters to London and desperately trying to track Jian down. As Iona charts the course of their twenty-year relationship, from its early beginnings at Beijing University to Jian's defiant march in the Jasmine Revolution, her own empty life takes on an urgent purpose: to bring Jian and Mu together again before it's too late.

Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, ©2014.
Edition: First American Edition.
ISBN: 9780385538718
9780385538725
Characteristics: 373 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm

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luzeng
Aug 22, 2015

I found this author because I was looking for contemporary notable women with 'Lu' in their names; turns out she doesn't have the same 'Lu', but her framing protagonist knows my story (it's actually a bit uncanny), and the framed protagonists help me triangulate my parents' (generation's stories). Not sure how people who aren't me react to this!

u
uncommonreader
Apr 01, 2015

A translator from Mull, now in London, unravels the letters and diaries of a Chinese musician in exile and a Chinese poet. The idea of using a translator the tell the story is very clever, as the reader too tries to interpret and understand the story of these two people. I was intrigued and then the author would hit a false note. An imperfect book, very critical of China, but nonetheless an enjoyable read.

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