Book - 2009
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'I loved this book and can't stop talking about it. . . Transcendent.' -Carolyn See, The Washington Post

In the tradition of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress , Wang Gang's English is a captivating coming-of- age novel about the power of language to launch a journey of self- discovery. When a new teacher comes to school-a tall, elegantly dressed man from Shanghai carrying an English dictionary under his arm-twelve- year-old Love Liu turns away from Chairman Mao's little red book and toward the teacher's big blue book for answers to his most pressing questions about love and life. But as a whole new world begins to open up for him, Love Liu must face a test more challenging than any he'll take in the classroom.

Publisher: New York, NY : Viking, 2009.
ISBN: 9780143116547
Branch Call Number: WAN
Characteristics: 313 pages ; 22 cm


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Nov 21, 2011

Interesting novel/memoir of a Uighur boy growing up in Western China during the Cultural Revolution. The political pressure to conform is intense, and affects everyone in his village: parents, neighbors, teachers, other students. Repeatedly disappointed by his social-climbing architect parents, the boy attaches himself to his English teacher, a cosmopolitan young man from Shanghai whose greatest possession is a coveted English dictionary.

Interesting book, and a huge seller in China, even though (or maybe because) it discusses events during the Cultural Revolution. The characters are all clearly drawn, but the plot, such as it is, wanders around to the point where one wonders where this will all end. Told from the perspective of the boy in his older years, it doesn't really have much appeal for teen readers, but would make a great book group title.

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