Girl in Translation

Girl in Translation

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Introducing a fresh, exciting Chinese-American voice, an inspiring debut about an immigrant girl forced to choose between two worlds and two futures. When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life-like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family's future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition-Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles. Through Kimberly's story, author Jean Kwok, who also emigrated from Hong Kong as a young girl, brings to the page the lives of countless immigrants who are caught between the pressure to succeed in America, their duty to their family, and their own personal desires, exposing a world that we rarely hear about. Written in an indelible voice that dramatizes the tensions of an immigrant girl growing up between two cultures, surrounded by a language and world only half understood, "Girl in Translation" is an unforgettable and classic novel of an American immigrant-a moving tale of hardship and triumph, heartbreak and love, and all that gets lost in translation. Watch a Video

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  • Hardback | 293 pages
  • 157.48 x 233.68 x 30.48mm | 498.95g
  • Riverhead Books
  • New York, NYUnited States
  • English
  • 1594487561
  • 9781594487569
  • 576,828

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"In this moving story of hardship and triumph, a woman must live a double life as a scholar and a sweatshop worker after she emigrates from Hong Kong to America with her mother." -"San Francisco Chronicle" "At age 5, Kwok moved with her family from Hong Kong to a New York City slum. . . . She has spun some of her experiences into this involving debut. . . . Kwok drops you right inside Kimberly's head, adding Chinese idioms to crisp dialogue. And the book's lesson-that every choice comes at the expense of something else- hits home in any language." -"People" (3 1/2 stars) "Writing in first-person from Kim's point of view, Kwok cleverly employs phonetic spellings to illustrate her protagonist's growing understanding of English and wide-eyed view of American teen culture. The author draws upon her own experience as a child laborer in New York, which adds a poignant layer to "Girl in Translation."" -"USA Today" "Though the plot may sound mundane -t

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About Jean Kwok

Jean Kwok was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Brooklyn as a young girl. Jean received her bachelor's degree from Harvard and completed an MFA in Fiction at Columbia. She worked as an English teacher and Dutch-English translator at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and now writes full-time. She has been published in "Story Magazine" and "Prairie Schooner."

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