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  • Written in deliberately bad English, this is a wonderful comic romance

    Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
  • Xiaolu is a fabulous writer, fresh, witty and intelligent. She handles language in an astonishing way. I don't think I have enjoyed a book as much in the last twelve months and I am looking forward to hearing a lot more from this promising young voice.

    Joanne Harris
  • A delicate combination of unwitting humour, sadness, sex and displacement. Unputdownable.

    Katie Fforde
  • Her characterisation of Z's lover is subtle and profound... This novel will be compared with A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, but it is so much better than that. 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.

    Scarlett Thomas, Independent on Sunday
  • An auspicious English language debut...its young heroine adrift in a London whose people and customs prove as full of pitfalls as the tongue she struggles to master.

    Boyd Tonkin, Independent, Christmas books special

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