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A Lover’s Discourse: Xiaolu Guo in conversation with Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

11 August 2020 18:30 19:30

Virtual via Zoom

We’re delighted to be welcoming local author and good friend of the bookshop Xiaolu Guo for an event to celebrate the publication of her latest novel, A Lover’s Discourse. Xiaolu will be in conversation with Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Starling Days. The event is free but spaces are limited so please book in advance. It will be held on Zoom and a link will be circulated before the event.

To buy a signed copy of the book, available to order up to and on the day of the event, please click on the book cover image below which will take you to the shop. Please add any dedications you would like in the Order Notes. Xiaolu will be signing copies after the event, then they will then be ready for collection from the shop a couple of days later. To order a signed copy to be posted please email us by 11th August and we can advise you of postage costs.


About the book

An intimate and charming new novel about love, language, displacement and the meaning of home, told through conversations between two lovers, from Granta Best Young British Novelist and 2019 Booker Prize judge, Xiaolu Guo.

A Chinese woman comes to London to start a new life – away from her dead parents, away from her old world.

She knew she would be lonely, but will her new relationship with the Australian-British-German landscape architect bring her closer to this land she has chosen, will their love give her a home?

A Lover’s Discourse is an exploration of romantic love told through fragments of conversations between the two lovers. Playing with language and the cultural differences that her narrator encounters as she settles into life in a Britain still reeling from the Brexit vote. Xiaolu Guo shows us how this couple navigate these differences, and their romance, whether on their unmoored houseboat or in a cramped and stifling flat share in east London… Suffused with a wonderful sense of humour, this intimate and tender novel asks universal questions: what is the meaning of home when we’ve been uprooted? How can a man and woman be together? And how best to be a woman and a mother?


Xiaolu Guo

Xiaolu was born in south China. She studied at the Beijing Film Academy and published six books in China before moving to London in 2002.

Her books include Village of Stone which was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth which was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize, and I Am China which was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her recent memoir, Once Upon a Time in the East, won the National Book Critics Circle Award, was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award, the Jhalak Prize and the Rathbones Folio Award 2018, and was a Sunday Times Book of the Year. In 2013 Xiaolu was named as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. She has directed several award-winning films including She, A Chinese, and documentaries about China and Britain. She was a judge for the Booker Prize in 2019, and is currently a visiting professor at Columbia University in New York.


Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

Rowan is the author of Harmless Like You and Starling DaysShe has won The Authors’ Club First Novel Award and a Betty Trask Award and been shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award.

Her work has been a New York Times Editors’ Choice, an NPR Great Read, and recommended by Oprah Magazine’s best spring books. Her short work has appeared in several places including GrantaGuernica, The Guardian, The Harvard Review, and NPR’s Selected Shorts. She is the editor of the Go Home! anthology. She has received residencies/fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, The Millay Colony, Hedgebrook, Gladstone’s Library, The Asian American Writers Workshop, and Kundiman.