Xiaolu Guo: 我心中的石头镇 (Village of Stone)


The latest addition to my website is Xiaolu Guo‘s 我心中的石头镇 (Village of Stone). She is one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. This novel was the last of several that she wrote in Chinese and the only one of those that has been translated into English. Her subsequent novels have been written in English. It tells the story of Coral Jiang, both in her childhood (from the ages of seven to fifteen) and in the present time, aged twenty-eight. She had been born and brought up in the Village of Stone, a remote village by the sea in the south of China, where people made their living from the sea, and which was constantly buffeted by typhoons, so much so that roofs were weighed down with stones. Her mother had died soon after giving birth to her, while her father had left before she was born. She was brought up by her grandparents, who had barely spoken to one another for many years. Life was hard and made harder for Coral, who was harassed by a mute who sexually assaulted her. In the present time, she is living in a flat in Beijing with Red and working in a video rental shop. Her life seems to be going nowhere. Btu then a large dead eel arrives in a parcel for her from the Village of Stone and things start to change.

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