From Hallgrímur's list on me-against-the-world.
The great Chinese British powerhouse writes about her childhood in a poor coastal village in post-Mao’s China where she’s made to live with her grandparents and life is rough and hard, especially for a girl. It’s a very atmospheric tale, that paints a vivid picture of this incredible society. It’s also a Cinderella story, about a suffering child that, thanks to incredible stubbornness and stamina, rises up to become one of the twelve (out of a million or so) applicants that are accepted into the Chinese Film School in Beijing each year. She later moves to England and her descriptions of the west are super fresh and priceless.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
Xiaolu Guo meets her parents for the first time when she is almost seven. They are strangers to her.
When she is born her parents hand her over to a childless peasant couple in the mountains. Aged two, and suffering from malnutrition on a diet of yam leaves, they leave Xiaolu with her illiterate grandparents in a fishing village on the East China Sea. It's a strange beginning.
A Wild Swans for a new generation, Once Upon a Time in the East takes Xiaolu from a run-down shack to film school in a rapidly changing Beijing, navigating the everyday peculiarity…