Read Lost in Translation by Nicole Mones Online

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A novel of searing intelligence and startling originality, Lost in Translation heralds the debut of a unique new voice on the literary landscape.  Nicole Mones creates an unforgettable story of love and desire, of family ties and human conflict, and of one woman's struggle to lose herself in a foreign land--only to discover her home, her heart, herself.At dawn in Beijing,A novel of searing intelligence and startling originality, Lost in Translation heralds the debut of a unique new voice on the literary landscape.  Nicole Mones creates an unforgettable story of love and desire, of family ties and human conflict, and of one woman's struggle to lose herself in a foreign land--only to discover her home, her heart, herself.At dawn in Beijing, Alice Mannegan pedals a bicycle through the deserted streets.  An American by birth, a translator by profession, she spends her nights in Beijing's smoke-filled bars, and the Chinese men she so desires never misunderstand her intentions.  All around her rushes the air of China, the scent of history and change, of a world where she has come to escape her father's love and her own pain.  It is a world in which, each night as she slips from her hotel, she hopes to lose herself forever.For Alice, it began with a phone call from an American archaeologist seeking a translator.  And it ended in an intoxicating journey of the heart--one that would plunge her into a nation's past, and into some of the most rarely glimpsed regions of China.  Hired by an archaeologist searching for the bones of Peking Man, Alice joins an expedition that penetrates a vast, uncharted land and brings Professor Lin Shiyang into her life.  As they draw closer to unearthing the secret of Peking Man, as the group's every move is followed, their every whisper recorded, Alice and Lin find shelter in each other, slowly putting to rest the ghosts of their pasts.  What happens between them becomes one of the most breathtakingly erotic love stories in recent fiction.  Indeed, Lost in Translation is a novel about love--between a nation and its past, between a man and a memory, between a father and a daughter.  Its powerful impact confirms the extraordinary gifts of a master storyteller, Nicole Mones....

Title : Lost in Translation
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780385319447
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Lost in Translation Reviews

  • Ruth
    2018-10-19 20:51

    366 Pages. Donated 2010 May.Nicole Mones doesn't waste any time getting to the heart of the matter in her first novel, Lost in Translation. Within the first 10 pages we discover that protagonist Alice Mannegan, an interpreter based in Beijing, has a yen for sex with Chinese men. By the time we reach page 20, we've learned that Alice is in full flight from her father, a racist U.S. congressman, and about to start working for Adam Spencer, an American archeologist on the hunt for the missing bones of one of the century's biggest scientific finds: Peking man. Having set the stage, Mones steps back and lets her characters do the work as she proceeds to spin a tale that is part mystery, part love story, and part cultural exchange. Alice and Spencer travel to a remote region of China, accompanied by Dr. Lin Shiyang, with whom Alice falls in love. Mones spends a fair amount of time on the team's search for the bones, whose mysterious disappearance during the Second World War has never been explained, but her main focus is less on finding Peking man than on exposing the skeletons in her main characters' closets. As Alice, Spencer, and Dr. Lin move forward in their quest, they are forced to reckon with their pasts. Each, it seems, has an ulterior reason for being where they are and doing what they do, and it is in the subtle play of personalities, motivations, and misunderstandings that Lost in Translation finds its rhythm.The key to the novel's success is Mones's in-depth knowledge of China's culture, history, and politics. The question of cultural identity is at the core of her tale, and she skillfully weaves various aspects of Chinese life--from ancestor worship to the Cultural Revolution--into the personal relationships of her characters. By novel's end, readers have discovered a great deal about archeology, China, and most especially about the unmapped territories of memory, desire, and identity. Lost in Translation is a fine first novel, the first salvo of a promising literary career.And it was a really good movie too.

  • Janice
    2018-09-25 17:58

    3.5 starsA myriad of thoughts are running through my head as I contemplate what to write about my reaction to this book. The characters in this story are all a bit lost in the translations of their lives. It's rather poignant, maybe even a bit relatable. Do we not all lose our sense of self at some point, or at the very least question it? But where I struggled with this book was that I never fully engaged with the protagonist. I guess I never really understood her drive to run away so thoroughly as to attempt to change her ethnicity. It reminds me of a saying a Scottish friend said, "There are two types of people. Scots, and those who want to be Scots." In Alice's case, it was that she wanted to be Chinese.That brings up another point. I really didn't think her name was a good fit. Alice. It grated every time I read it. Perhaps it was symbolic of the incongruity of who she was compared to who she wanted to be.

  • Eve
    2018-10-07 21:07

    This is my second Mones book, and I've decided that she's a keeper! Her two-fold view of cultural China is enlightening. This book is in many ways similar to The Last Chinese Chef, especially with both viewpoints: that of a foreigner and a native. Alice's interal demons and her eventual resolution of these issues closely paralleled my situation at this time. Imagine that!? So yes, so glad I read this and would highly recommend it.

  • Dee
    2018-09-26 14:50

    This book really surprised me! I purchased it from a library discard pile. What luck! For this book I would have happily paid more than the dollar that I did. It's an agonizingly lovely book that uses the dischord between an American woman and her given culture, and family, to craft a tale that puts the alienation anybody can feel into a deeper perspective. Unlike just anybody, the protagonist loses herself in the classic language and ancient traditions of her chosen home: in China. Reading it, you find yourself there as well. A lot happens from there, but I encourage you to read this one yourself. Suffice it to say that I also found the book sexy, exciting, and full of gems about love (and trust). I read it in one day, and almost one sitting, if that says anything.

  • Liza Miller
    2018-09-19 20:10

    Let's start with a seemingly obvious but wildly overlooked detail: Nicole Mones' "Lost in Translation" is not Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation." I mean, sure, they're both about American women floating adrift in Asian countries who have asexual relationships with American men that teach them about the culture in which they've been absorbed and also about themselves. But OTHER THAN THAT, they're totally different stories. (Full disclosure: I didn't realize how similar they were when when I started this rant. Nicole Mones may very well be due a piece of an Oscar in a IP settlement.) But just as China isn't Japan (seriously, people, stop all the conflating), the novel's heroine Alice, isn't Coppola's little ball of ennui. Alice gets LAID. She loves Chinese men, she isn't shy about it and she'll readily hop on her bike to go get some action (which she does in the very first chapter, #HYFR #feminism).Her Bill Murray (I'm sorry, I'll stop now, I'm making it worse) is archaeologist Adam Spencer, who recruits her to be his interpreter on a mission to find the missing bones of Peking Man, a fossil that had been missing since WWII. If this sounds like a meet-cute in a lesser Reese Witherspoon movie, stay with me. Adam and Alice (my god, it IS an aborted romcom setup) don't hook up. They don't have Mulder and Scully-level sexual tension. Their trip is a conduit through which we discover the intricacies of China's past and the way they affect the present. What separates this from other White Lady Goes to Foreign Country stories is the level of detail. Mones gives us both an insider's perspective - Alice's archaeological trip allows Mones a perfect excuse to unleash her encyclopedic and fascinating knowledge of Chinese culture - and an outsider's perspective as Alice tries to navigate a land that isn't always entirely welcoming to outsiders. Alice's journey into China's past, firmly entrenched in its present, is a reminder that exploring the unknown - not just a foreign country but anyplace or culture or even a generation we don't fully comprehend - can be terrifying and uncertain but it can also be thrilling and transformative, reminding the traveler of who she was, who she is and who she could be.

  • Carinya Kappler
    2018-10-07 15:49

    Perhaps I have benefited by not yet having seen the well publicised but little understood movie version of “Lost in Translation”. I was able to tackle the novel with no preconceived notions of the delicacy required to preserve the cultural bridge between westerners and Chinese, and indeed between Chinese people themselves in their daily dealings with each other.Whether the novel accurately portrays the cultural mysteries or not is not an essential ingredient for the reader’s enjoyment of this beautifully crafted fictional work. The plot involves the almost impossible search for the remains of the ancient “Peking Man” believed to have been lost somewhere in China prior to the chaos surrounding the communist revolution. Involved in the search are 2 Chinese archaeologists, 1 American archaeologist and an American interpreter. Despite the difficulties of communication the team becomes a coherent tightly knit group. The relationships that develop between them slowly evolve in parallel with the search and coincide with the equally hopeless hunt for the missing wife of Lin, one of the Chinese archaeologists. The author captures the mix of emotions, the threads of hope and despair, the longing to belong, and the scars inflicted by overpowering smothering love. This is a book with meaning. It explores both a culture little understood by outsiders, and the magical pain of romantic and filial love.Will the movie be a disappointment after reading this wonderful book? I can only wait and see.Carinya

  • Belinda
    2018-10-20 14:51

    This is NM's first book but I read it last. So even though I think it is good I felt the sense of an author finding a formula and sticking with it.Mones books are interesting, well researched, compelling to read, and they always teach you something - Peking Man, Chinese porcelain, food, but there is that repetition of elements that dominate the books. Obviously the geographical setting - China - is one of them, there's the strong, smart, female character, aged 35+, and there is the romance.Possible Spoiler here:The love story unfolds slowly, the man is similar to the main female character - smart, older, dealing with a past that is a barrier to relationships. Most of all the love story ends in almost exactly the same way in every book. The characters get to bed one another but part with a promise of sorts to contact one another again. So cliffhanger love story.I love the history and culture, I get annoyed by the recurring plot.It is in danger of becoming hackneyed.This surprises me because NM is obviously a very capable writer. Time for a change, Nicole!PS: My favourite was Cup of Light.

  • Suzanne
    2018-10-19 15:46

    Alice Mannegan is a young American woman working as an interpreter in modern day China. When she is hired by Dr. Adam Spencer to help him search for the missing “Peking Man”, she embarks on a journey of intrigue, love and an enticing mystery.The Asian cover of the book may make some think Nicole Mones’ novel is related to the movie of the same name, but let me assure you, it’s not. From the first chapter, I was absolutely drawn into this book. Mones presents a credible mystery – a clue that could enable the recovery of Peking Man, one of the most important finds in the history of human archaeology. In Lost in Translation the reader is given some real history, and at the same time, Mones’ personal knowledge of China really shines. The mystery is gripping, and as if that weren’t enough, the story of Alice Mannegan is an impressive means of showing the barbs of racism both in her native and her chosen country. I loved this book and can’t wait to read more by this author. 4 1/2 stars!

  • Karmen
    2018-10-05 21:50

    Retrieved this book from my storage locker; hidden within a medium size box of other treasures. Last read was over 4 years ago.The story concerns a Chinese translator, Alice Mannegan, working in Guangzhou, China. She ran away as far as was possible from being the poster child for "white America" by her father, a U.S. Congressman. The story details the struggle she has not only with the language but the nuances built in over the centuries to it. The words don't necessarily correspond to their meaning based on the inference/intonation.The novel unfolds as she takes a position with U.S. archaeologist in search of Peking Man. The bones of Peking Man were found in the early 1920 and loss during the war. The book, from what I have read from papers, and other media, represents accurately the Chinese mindset and living conditions. It was a great read!

  • Merty
    2018-10-11 15:04

    I would really love the chance to travel to China. This novel takes place there and it's a bit mysterious, the book has a way of drawing me in! I love it and I want to read Nicole Mones other 2 books, one on my kindle and one I just ordered in Paperback, didn't like the print on kindle for that one, for some reason.Oh, this book was exotic and erotic. I loved the story about Alice and her desire to stay in China or move back to the U.S. Her job as interpreter to an Archeaologist was so interesting as well as the sights, culture and the people of China. Her affair with Dr. Lin. Nicole Mones leaves it up to us whether Alice will return to him or not? I can't wait to read The Last Chinese Chef and Cup Of Light. I'm so glad I found Nicole Mones, by accident too, searching on amazon and goodreads. Great summer read.

  • Bekah
    2018-09-26 23:10

    If youve seen the movie that was loosely based on this book (or at least has the same title), know that this has a much better storyline. Although I think I may have become way more absorbed in it due to my interest in archaeology and that I used to live in Beijing, where the first part of the book is based. The main character is a translator for foreigners visiting China, and throughout the book both the pin yin and english phrases are printed. That brought the characters to life for me. My only gripe about the book is that towards the end it becomes more of a romance novel, which really changed the tone of the book.

  • Lisa Murray
    2018-10-01 23:06

    Hard to believe that this was published almost 30 years ago. Except for the missing technology this feels as though it could have been written in the last decade. This haunting examination of actively choosing to be in a minority as a sort of penance is stitched into a treasure hunt and a bungling sort of Big Brother-ish governmental scheme.

  • Velvetink
    2018-09-28 23:03

    Lost in Translation is a novel about love--between a nation and its past, between a man and a memory, between a father and a daughter.

  • Laurel Deloria
    2018-10-12 16:54

    this is a story about archeologists looking of the lost Peking Mans' bones. It is more fiction than historical fiction, but it is a good interesting fast read.Amazon :Expatriate translator Alice Mannegan spends her nights in Beijing's smoky bars, seeking fleeting encounters with Chinese men to blot out the shame of her racist father back in Texas. But when she signs on to an archaeological expedition searching for the missing bones of Peking Man in China's remote Northwest deserts, her world cracks open. As the group follows the trail of the Jesuit philosopher/paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin to close in on one of archaeology's greatest mysteries, Alice finds herself increasingly drawn to a Chinese professor who is shackled by his own painful memories. Love in all its forms--human, sexual, divine, between a nation and its history, a man and his past, a father and his daughter--drives the story to its breathtaking finish. Emotionally charged and erotic, this widely translated bestseller has been universally praised for its authoritative portrayal of a China rarely captured in contemporary fiction. The novel's accolades include the Kafka Prize for the year's best work of fiction by any American woman, the Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Association Book Award for the year's best novel from the five northwestern states, and the New York Times Book Review's Notable Book and Editor's Choice.

  • Mel P
    2018-10-15 20:53

    It took me awhile to get into this book. It was very slow building but once it got me, it got me. There was something very poetic and sensuous in the way the author described things. The tension between Alice and Lin. The desperation and sadness of Dr. Spenser. Alice was such a complex character yearning to be accepted but at the same time not accepting herself. She had obviously gone to China to, what she thought, to find herself but what she was really doing was running away from herself and her problems. Like a little girl, she wanted to be someone else and so she pretended, she yearned to be Chinese. In the end, no one can live like that, with that illusion. You are who you are. Your past and present make you into the person you're going to be in the future. It was heartbreaking when all her illusion came falling down, and when they fell, they hit rock bottom. But we do get a bit of hope in the end of the book. She finally realizes what she's doing. She knows that she has to go back to the States and once and for all deal with the issues of her father and make peace with it. She knows that this is her last chance as her father is terminally ill. Lin finally has some closure with finding out what happened with his wife and comes to gripes with his relationship with Alice. They said some pretty hurtful things to each other but in the end Lin tells Alice that he'll wait for her, not forever, but he will wait. The mystery of Peking Man was an interesting journey. I find Mones theory interesting of what she describes happens to Peking Man. In some ways it is horrifying but in others it seems fitting that Peking Man is "reabsorbed into the Chinese population." I'm glad though that Dr. Spenser and Kong were not left with nothing. Dr. Spenser's character was interesting. He had thrown himself completely into the search of Peking Man. He thought that if he found it, it would validate him as a father. That his son would be proud of him even though he was far away. I'm glad he realized that his son would love him and be proud of him regardless. That all his son really wanted was for him to spend time with him. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The glimpse into Chinese culture and Mongolian culture was definitely educating. Mones' writing - I could literally feel the sexual tension between Lin and Alice, the yearning of Alice to be part of something. Just excellent.

  • Susan
    2018-09-19 17:57

    Lost in Translation by Nicole Mones is set in modern-day China. Alice Mannegan is an American woman living on her own in China, working as a freelance translator. Her father Horace Mannegan is a US Congressman. When she was a small child, he gave a pro-segregation speech that incited a race riot. She is ashamed of his racism and refuses to live in America. However she readily accepts his money to support her lifestyle. Alice holds another grudge against her father: when she fell in love with a Chinese man and declared her intention to marry, her father flew to China to stop her. Now Alice seeks only one-night-stands with Chinese men under a false name, and tells herself she is seeking “a true Chinese man”. She keeps in close touch with her former fiancé’s mother, and revels in learning traditional ways.Alice accepts a job translating for an American archaeologist who believes he can find Peking Man, missing for decades. They travel into the desert with 2 Chinese professors, Dr. Kong and Dr. Lin. Unknown to the others, Dr. Lin has a personal quest. Their movements are watched, it’s not always clear by how many or why; but no worries, it doesn’t matter in the end.The book is rich with Chinese phrases, historical traditions and political background, as well as archaeology and anthropology. Alice finds herself in a relationship she doesn’t want to lose – although her actions jeopardize it. News from home forces her to question her life choices and follow her innermost values.I first discovered the author when I read The Last Chinese Chef, which so enthralled me, I purchased multiple copies for gifts to family and friends. I did not enjoy Lost in Translation (her award-winning debut novel) nearly as much, probably due to Alice’s spoiled-rich-girl attitude. The characters in The Last Chinese Chef were more earnest and the plot more poignant – I recommend it.

  • Dorothy
    2018-10-18 15:48

    I wonder how many people are like me, and picked up this book because they thought it was the origin of the movie? Whatever, I'm glad I did pick it up (even though it has nothing to do with the movie at all), because I thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked the heroine, I liked the insight into the Chinese people, language and country, and I enjoyed the plot. I will certainly look out for other books by this author.

  • Katherine
    2018-10-03 19:52

    This was a very strange book, very disconnected. There were many pages, too many, to get to know the characters, but we never did. Very drawn out, no conclusion, and couldn't wait for it to be over.

  • Lucy
    2018-10-02 21:14

    4.5 stars. Well written, insightful and with plenty to say about Chinese history and culture, questions of identity, racism and inverse racism. As a translator and sometimes interpreter, I found it hard at first to forgive the incorrect, blurred use of concepts of translator and interpreter, as well as unprofessional representations of interpretation practice, however the deep work done in terms of both character and plot development made even these errors forgivable. An entertaining, insightful read with some surprises along the way.

  • Jane
    2018-10-13 19:53

    I enjoyed Lost in Translation but not quite as much as The Last Chinese Chef. Love the covers of Nicole Mones' books and I must admit, it was the reason I picked up The Last Chinese Chef in the first place. Nicole's knowledge of China and the end note about the actual lives of Pierre Teilhard and Lucile Swan did make for interesting reading. I look forward to reading A Cup of Light that is also sitting on my shelf.

  • Judy
    2018-10-01 15:52

    I'd actually give this novel 3.5 stars; it was that good. Alice, the main character, is so intelligent, erotic, and likable that I didn't want her story to end. While her relationships are troubling, to say the least, they are also quite thought-provoking on many levels. The knowledge and essence of China, and her people that Mones brings to this piece is beyond impressive as well.

  • Pam Richmond
    2018-10-18 16:04

    Nice read and illustrations. Short.

  • Rebecca
    2018-09-21 21:57

    Exceptional. Remarkable for a first novel. So good that I’m afraid to read anything else of hers!

  • Fatma Al-Ajmi
    2018-09-23 18:47

    "Make me more myself, as I dream to make you reaching the best of yourself." 🌟

  • Saki Palme
    2018-10-03 16:05

    I was looking for this book for years. I´ve read a short part from it in one slovak book (Čína na dlhom pochode - Leopold Moravčík) when I was a lot younger. Even after reading such a short part it really got me interested, but I think after all those years it found the already different me so... I was a little bit disappointed. Whatever review you´re going to read is probably going to be truthful in every aspect, so if it caught your attention read it, but remember books like this are meant for people who needs them, they´re not supposed to be liked by everyone.

  • Mohana Talapatra
    2018-10-08 15:56

    Lost in Translation appealed on several levels.. it is a moving, poetic, elegiac read of an American woman in search of love, her true parentage, her roots, identity and definition, in a country she has always called home (China) but which has always treated her as an outsider (even as she understands the nuances of the language and the culture almost as a native Chinese would); her unconditional love and desire for belonging to a country and its people, where her American free spirited love is never understood quite fully, and is truly lost in translation. A bitter irony for an English-Chinese translator... that adds to her over-arching theme of alienation. But above all, if, like me, you like books which show you a little bit of the history of why a country and its people are so, then this book will surely sit right with you. It is a moody love story of a woman's personal and emotional journey in a dry desert land of sun and sand, but one set against the backdrop of historical facts in an archaeological site (search for the Peking Man, rumored to have been forever lost somewhere around the Shuidongguo Paleolithic site, during the Japanese invasion). It is also a tale of a distant shimmering oasis (and hope) of love and acceptance for the lead Chinese male protagonist, even as what he seeks the most, eludes him by a thread - his story unraveling against the backdrop of the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution, as hers unravels against the backdrop of the archaeological dig and pursuit of Man's origin.Commissioned in Beijing by an American-Chinese archaeologists' team, for a translation job related to the search for Peking Man in the dry desert land of Ordos and beyond, she decides to accept this strange opportunity as a way of escaping from herself, and in the process, perhaps even finding herself. The book is full of the Chinese nuanced way - of what is unsaid, is often, as, if not more important, than what is actually said.The only thing that did not work for me, was that at places, the book grew tedious with somewhat long, and perhaps unnecessary descriptions of the landscape and time passing (rather slowly). The book could have been condensed somewhat (perhaps by 20-30 pages easily, without losing narrative flow). Hence, I give it a 3 and not a 4. I liked it, but could have "really" liked it, had it been tighter and crisper overall.Overall great debut novel!

  • A B
    2018-09-24 17:06

    This book could be the cure for insomnia.I am usually a very fast reader but in this case, reading was almost a chore. You'd think a book about a search for an anthropology treasure set against Chinese culture and politics, along with an American woman with severe daddy issues who wishes she were Chinese (not to mention a hot Chinese guy with a tragic backstory) would be difficult to put down. Yet it is. It's like the writer divided by zero.Instead, there are too many plot elements working against this book. The subplot of corrupt government officials following interpreter Alice, scientist Spencer, and two Chinese anthropologists is present just enough to be distracting without adding anything interesting. The sheer coincidence of the crew just happening to run into people who know vital clues about the treasure is facepalm worthy. Ever heard of a needle in a haystack? In this book they find a needle in a haystack the size of China.What saved it from being a complete failure was Alice's well-meaning attempts to follow Chinese etiquette and cultural norms, and not realizing that no matter how hard she tries, she'll never be accepted as one of them. For example, she completes a Chinese folk ritual to honor a deceased friend. Then people either express anger towards her for being a Caucasian woman trying to enter a sacred Chinese ritual, or people are offended that she bought into a mumbo-jumbo folk practice that educated Chinese mock. We are bombarded in media - book, video, periodicals, whatever - with stories of people whose families have lived in the United States for several generations, and yet their latest generation laments how their so-called "culture" of whatever country their ancestors immigrated from isn't accepted in the U.S.. It's somewhat hilarious given that most of these whiners have never had passports, let alone visited their so-called homelands. So it was refreshing to read about someone who desperately wants to embrace the country she loves so much and truly feels a part of, and yet can't.

  • Barbara
    2018-10-14 16:51

    Rather slow. Good enough, but wouldn't read again. A novel of searing intelligence and startling originality, Lost in Translation heralds the debut of a unique new voice on the literary landscape. Nicole Mones creates an unforgettable story of love and desire, of family ties and human conflict, and of one woman's struggle to lose herself in a foreign land--only to discover her home, her heart, herself. At dawn in Beijing, Alice Mannegan pedals a bicycle through the deserted streets. An American by birth, a translator by profession, she spends her nights in Beijing's smoke-filled bars, and the Chinese men she so desires never misunderstand her intentions. All around her rushes the air of China, the scent of history and change, of a world where she has come to escape her father's love and her own pain. It is a world in which, each night as she slips from her hotel, she hopes to lose herself forever. For Alice, it began with a phone call from an American archaeologist seeking a translator. And it ended in an intoxicating journey of the heart--one that would plunge her into a nation's past, and into some of the most rarely glimpsed regions of China. Hired by an archaeologist searching for the bones of Peking Man, Alice joins an expedition that penetrates a vast, uncharted land and brings Professor Lin Shiyang into her life. As they draw closer to unearthing the secret of Peking Man, as the group's every move is followed, their every whisper recorded, Alice and Lin find shelter in each other, slowly putting to rest the ghosts of their pasts. What happens between them becomes one of the most breathtakingly erotic love stories in recent fiction. Indeed, Lost in Translation is a novel about love--between a nation and its past, between a man and a memory, between a father and a daughter. Its powerful impact confirms the extraordinary gifts of a master storyteller, Nicole Mones.

  • John Marsh
    2018-10-04 21:55

    Copied from descrption to use as baseA novel of searing intelligence and startling originality, Lost in Translation heralds the debut of a unique new voice on the literary landscape. Nicole Mones creates an unforgettable story of love and desire, of family ties and human conflict, and of one woman's struggle to lose herself in a foreign land--only to discover her home, her heart, herself.At dawn in Beijing, Alice Mannegan pedals a bicycle through the deserted streets. An American by birth, a translator by profession, she spends her nights in Beijing's smoke-filled bars, and the Chinese men she so desires never misunderstand her intentions. All around her rushes the air of China, the scent of history and change, of a world where she has come to escape her father's love and her own pain. It is a world in which, each night as she slips from her hotel, she hopes to lose herself forever.For Alice, it began with a phone call from an American archaeologist seeking a translator. And it ended in an intoxicating journey of the heart--one that would plunge her into a nation's past, and into some of the most rarely glimpsed regions of China. Hired by an archaeologist searching for the bones of Peking Man, Alice joins an expedition that penetrates a vast, uncharted land and brings Professor Lin Shiyang into her life. As they draw closer to unearthing the secret of Peking Man, as the group's every move is followed, their every whisper recorded, Alice and Lin find shelter in each other, slowly putting to rest the ghosts of their pasts. What happens between them becomes one of the most breathtakingly erotic love stories in recent fiction. Indeed, Lost in Translation is a novel about love--between a nation and its past, between a man and a memory, between a father and a daughter. Its powerful impact confirms the extraordinary gifts of a master storyteller, Nicole Mones. (less)

  • Jacquelyn Pitts
    2018-10-10 14:58

    I listened to this audiobook thinking that it was the precursor to the movie. It is not, thankfully. Lost in Translation follows an American interpreter, in China, as she tries to make a life for herself there. I am thankful that I chose to listen to this novel-- hearing Angela Lin speak the Chinese dialogues instead of whatever silent incoherence I might've encountered had I read the book myself. The story travels from Beijing, to the remote city of Yinchuan, and eventually to inner Mongolia. Nicole Mones' writing was so descriptive and clearly well researched, that even in moments where I found myself uninterested in the plot I was still immersed in the settings. I do not know much about modern Chinese culture or history and I felt like I learned a lot with every chapter I listened to. This book gave me a new interest for, and some insight into, modern Chinese history & culture. The characters in this book are diverse, multidimensional, and mostly likable. What seems to set Alice, the protagonist, apart, is her serious struggle with cultural identity. While this could be called a love story, or an archeological adventure story, it is also definitely a story about escaping from white American guilt. While I wish Nicole Mones acknowledged the appropriative impulses that motivated Alice's behavior (as well as Alice's exoticization of Chinese men) throughout the book- she does touch on it in the end. I recommend this audiobook for Angela Lin's narration, it's flawed but highly intelligent female protagonist, and for the hours of rich visual imagery you'll come away with.