Ruiyan Xu, The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai

Press & Reviews


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July 18, 2011: The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai is out in paperback in the UK with a lovely new cover!
» Buy the paperback

July, 2011: I wrote a story called "Music and Feelings," and it's been published by the wonderful website Five Chapters.
» Read the story

January 4, 2011: Allen Cheuse reviews The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai for NPR's All Things Considered and calls it an "appealing first novel" whose "...tone is just right."
» Read or listen to the review

October 15, 2010: Raymond Carver once said, "You are not your characters, but your characters are you." I took a look at the three protagonists in my novel - on how they are like me and how they are not like me - for BookPage's "Behind the Book" column.
» Read the piece

October 13, 2010: Marie Claire magazine says "Ruiyan Xu's debut has left us completely riveted." The review also says the book is perfect for "when you feel like you're not getting through to your husband. (Hell, could be worse!)," which made me laugh!
» Read the review

October 12, 2010: My friend Jason Boog is the editor of Galleycat. We have also been in the same writer's group for several years. I talked to him about ground rules for writer's groups and more.
» How to Start a Writer's Group

October 4, 2010: Bust magazine reviews The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai and says that it "...poignantly channels the fears of living in a world in which silence renders one invisible." The reivew goes on to say: "Intricately woven with metaphors and abstractions, Xu’s romantic prose challenges the morality of the decisions her characters make and chronicles the differences between idealized infatuation and loyalty to the ones you love." The review is in the issue of the magazine with Helen Mirren on the cover!

October 2, 2010: Another nice review from The Guardian says "Ruiyan Xu's intriguing plot and unaffected writing provide a fresh take on a tale of linguistic and cultural difference."
» Read the review

September 24, 2010: "[T]his first novel compels on both intellectual and emotional level..." says BookPage, calling the book a "...poignant and impressive debut."
» Read the review

September 19, 2010: The Guardian reviews The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai and says "Xu's emotional fluency is what makes this novel work...the love in this book is unfettered, and from this she draws out complex and intriguing questions about language, culture and understanding."
» Read the review

September 17, 2010: The Daily Mail says, "A thoughtful disquisition upon the power of language, Ruiyan Xu's remarkable first novel is also a compassionate and perspicacious examination of the nature of human relationships."
» Read the review

September 16, 2010: The Times of London calls the book "A beautifully executed, moving debut about the articulation of love."

September 15, 2010: Metro (U.K.) calls The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai "fascinating and beautiful...a lyrical contemplation of language and how it shapes our identity, as well as a subtle commentary on the slippery sense of belonging in the new China."
» Read the review

September 3, 2010: Marie Claire (U.K.) calls The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai a "sensitive and moving exploration of what happens to a marriage when love is lost in translation."

August 31, 2010: New Books Magazine (U.K.) gives The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai a five star Reading Group rating. The reviewer says, "I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and feel that there is much a reading group would find to discuss. This is an impressive debut novel that is beautifully written and has some interesting ideas and themes."

August 29, 2010: The Express (U.K.) gives The Lost and Forgotten Langues of Shanghai five stars and says "[Xu's] writing is delicate, evocative and eloquent...The Lost And Forgotten Languages Of Shanghai is an eminently readable part-allegory of China's views on national identity and belonging, foisted Americanisation and external temptation. I look forward to Ruiyan Xu's second novel."
» Read the review

August 15, 2010: I wrote about Shanghai, old and new, in "A Tale of Two Cities" for Elle U.K.
PDFs: Part 1 | Part 2

June 28, 2010: Publishers Weekly says The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai is a promising debut.
» Promising Fiction Debuts

June 4, 2010: I answered some questions about writing and reading at That's Shanghai.
» Why I Write: Ruiyan Xu

June 1, 2010: Abby Plesser, fiction editor for BookPage, interviewed me at Book Expo America about my novel and my favorite New York haunts.
» Youtube

May 14, 2010: I wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about language, poetry, and the Internet.
» Search Engine of the Song Dynasty