The Compulsive Reader: Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo

Fenfang is seventeen years old when she escapes from her tiny, suffocating village, where all that awaits her is a life full of sweet potato farming. She travels to Beijing, where she works many odd jobs to stay afloat, before finally managing to become a film extra. In between making minute appearances in TV shows and films, Fenfang struggles to build a modern life for herself in the vast city of Beijing, facing sexist men, the strict Communist rules, and struggles to learn where her own destiny lies.

Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth is a highly intriguing and scintillating novel that will leave the reader with much to ponder. Fenfang is a very easygoing narrator and the story unrolls smoothly from her perspective, giving the reader an educational, but still very substantial glimpse into the bustling life of China's younger generation, all in an honest and sure voice that will make a lasting impression. This is a book that demands your complete attention, through random observations, inquisitive contemplations, and a gritty and realistic grasp on life, making the connection between readers and author an instantaneous one.

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