One of The Wall Street Journal's Two Best Works of Fiction of the Year about Asia
"Its story-telling and its narrative are both straightforward and clear . . . allow[ing] the drama of the story to open up naturally, unpretentiously . . . and yet also to crescendo into a tour de force of a conclusion. . . . [The translators'] English-and their English-is as fluid and conversational as Wang Gang's Chinese."
"Refreshing . . . Anyone who has dreamed for something bigger in life will relate to the story."
-Lijia Zhang, The Wall Street Journal Asia
"Equally tender and searing . . . More than any other book I've read about Communist China, English conveys a sense of the time and place with clarity, authenticity and compassion."
-Tiffany Lee-Youngren, The San Diego Union-Tribune
"Deftly explores the politics of language during those treacherous times."
-Travel + Leisure
"A fascinating and loving portrait of a painful childhood full of fond memories [that] allows us to glimpse the humanity we all have in common. For that reason, the book does what good literature should always do."
-The Quarterly Conversation
"A heart-wrenching coming-of-age story during one of the most tumultuous periods of modern history."
"A 'Catcher in the Rye in China.' . . . This book's style reminded me of Waiting, the 1999 National Book Award-winning novel by Ha Jin. . . . I truly enjoyed this book."
-Sarah Phoenix, Minnesota Reads
"This compelling coming-of-age novel . . . paints a vivid picture of what life was like during the Cultural Revolution, with paranoia, suspicion, and distrust informing every relationship, even the closest ones."
"The pure friendship between the teenage boy and his English teachers is movingly beautiful; the depiction of the intellectuals of that particular period cuts to the bone. I highly recommend it."
-Mo Yan, author of Red Sorghum
Wang Gang based English on his experiences growing up in western China. He now lives in Beijing and is the author of a number of critically acclaimed novels as well as the screenplays for two enormously popular Chinese films. English is his first novel to be translated into English, and rights have been sold around the world.
From the Hardcover edition.