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Publisher's Summary

Xiaolu Guo has traveled further than most to become who she needed to be. Now, as she experiences the birth of her daughter in a London maternity ward surrounded by women from all over the world, she looks back on that journey. It begins in the fishing village shack on the East China Sea where her illiterate grandparents raised her, and brings her to a rapidly changing Beijing, full of contradictions: a thriving underground art scene amid mass censorship, curious Westerners who held out affection only to disappear back home. Eventually Xiaolu determined to see the world beyond China for herself, and now, after 15 years in Europe, her words resonate with the insight of someone both an outsider and at home, in a world far beyond the country of her birth.

Nine Continents presents a fascinating portrait of China in the 80s and 90s, how the Cultural Revolution shaped families, and how the country's economic ambitions gave rise to great change. It is also a moving testament to the birth of a creative spirit, and of a new generation being raised to become citizens of the world. It confirms Xiaolu Guo as one of world literature's most urgent voices.

©2017 Xiaolu Guo (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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must read

I really enjoyed reading this memoir. If you like Wild Swans by Jung Chang, this is slightly more contemporary. While Jung’s family was higher class, Xiaolu grew up a peasant. Both found their own way out of China. Xiaolu’s writing is stunning and her story is remarkable. The audiobook is A+.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Grand text, indeed

Living in China, more than four years now, I appreciate the depth of insight that Ms. Guo shares in this book. Expertly read by one of Audible's most prolific voices, it is a rich tale of life in our time, from a perspective that is perhaps opaque otherwise.
Soundly a valuable book. I highly recommend it.
Thank you for sharing, Ms. Guo.

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  • K. English
  • 05-29-18

An interesting insight into the life of the author

It took me a while to get into this, but once I did I really enjoyed it. I have enjoyed all of the books this author has written and it was interesting to see what stage in her life she was at when she wrote them.

I’ve seen this book labelled as ‘the new Wild Swans’ which I think is an unfair, and lazy, likeness. The books are completely different in both style and content and Nine Continents deserves praise on its own accord. Xiaolu’s book begins with the narrative of her 5 year old self and the ensuing narrative is really unique to Xiaolu’s writing style. I love the way she describes things in such a blunt way and I also loved the references to Classical Chinese stories.