This book is long listed for the Baileys Women's Fiction Prize. In a flat above a noisy north London market, translator Iona Kirkpatrick starts work on a Chinese letter. Two lovers, Mu and Jian, have been driven apart by forces beyond their control.
As Iona unravels the story of the lovers, Jian and Mu seem to be travelling further and further away from each other. Iona, intoxicated by their romance, sets out to bring them back together, but time is running out. Xiaolu Guo was named as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists.