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Synopsis

Shortlisted for the Christina Stead Award for Fiction and Community Relations Commission Award, New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards 2011 'an utterly authentic story which deepens our understanding of both Chinese and Australian culture, an epic journey across languages and cultures, recounted with all Ouyang Yu's compelling honesty and passion.' Alex Miller At the end of the Cultural Revolution in China in the late 1970s Jing, an educated youth who has spent a few years as a peasant in the countryside, becomes a truck driver in a provincial shipyard. He manages to teach himself English in adverse circumstances while driving his truck, eventually passing the examination to get into the English Class at Donghu University. There, he meets with classmates from vastly different cultural backgrounds and falls in love with Deirdre, the estranged partner of Dr Wagner the English teacher. This engaging and masterful novel explores the aspiration of many to migrate to English speaking countries. Like much of Ouyang's work it subtly deconstructs the mechanisms of colonialism against an increasingly vibrant Chinese economy. The vivid fictional life of a Chinese truck driver who aspires to the western life is finely realised. The English Class is a triumph, a novel at once wise, brave and entertaining. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ouyang Yu obtained his BA in English and American Literature from Wuhan University and his MA in Australian and English literature at East China Normal University in Shanghai before moving to Australia in early 1991. He has since published 52 books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, literary translation and criticism in English and Chinese languages. He lives in Melbourne, Australia. More at: www.ouyangyu.com.au

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