20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo
(Chatto and Windus, 2008)

20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth

by Xiaolu Guo

Life as a film extra in Beijing might seem hard, but Fenfang won’t be defeated. She has travelled 1,800 miles to seek her fortune in the city, and has no desire to return to the never-ending sweet potato fields back home.

Determined to live a modern life, Fenfang works as a cleaner in the Young Pioneer’s movie theatre, falls in love with unsuitable men and keeps her kitchen cupboard stocked with UFO noodles. As Fenfang might say, Heavenly Bastard in the Sky, isn’t it about time I got my lucky break?


  • Man Asian Literary Prize (Longlisted)


Yet again the seductive Chinese magician, writer and film maker Xiaolu Guo lures her reader on to a lively narrative that is both personal odyssey and insightful commentary about modern Chinese society and life itself...Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth is about allkinds of hunger; the search for love and for personal fulfilment, and food. ”
- Irish Times
Guo beautifully captures the sense of a young girl struggling to forge a life. Fenfang's voice is bracing and welcome.”
- Publisher's Weekly