I Am China

I Am China

A Novel

Book - 2015
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An NPR Best Book of the Year

London translator Iona Kirkpatrick is at work on a new project: a collection of letters and diaries by a Chinese punk guitarist named Kublai Jian. As she translates the handwritten pages, a story of romance and revolution emerges between Jian, who believes there is no art without political commitment, and Mu, a poet whom he loves as fiercely as his ideals.
        Iona cannot know that Jian has come to Britain seeking political asylum and is mere miles away in Dover, awaiting news of his fate. Mu is in Beijing, writing letters to London, feverishly trying to track Jian down. As Iona charts the course of their twenty-year relationship from its beginnings at Beijing University to Jian's defiant march in the Jasmine Revolution, her empty life takes on an urgent purpose: to bring Jian and Mu together again before it's too late.

Publisher: New York : Anchor Books, 2015.
Edition: 1st Anchor Books ed.
ISBN: 9780804170475
Branch Call Number: GUO
Characteristics: 373 p. : ill.

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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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