A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers follows the main character Zhuang or, Z, for the one year that she was sent to London by her parents who still live back home in China. Her parents sent her to London to learn English so that she could have opportunities for a better life back in China, but right from the start Z has a tough time adjusting to a vastly different culture in which she doesn’t know the language. Soon after a few weeks of studying in school and having frustrating misunderstandings with every English person she encounters, she meets a man at the movie theater and they instantly fall in love. But as a woman who doesn’t speak English as her first language, the barrier between Z and her unnamed lover causes problems of cultural misunderstandings, invasions of privacy, and both characters have to rediscover why they fell in love in the first place, all while Z is still trying to find herself as a 24 year-old in London.
John Quigley ’19