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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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Girl in Translation

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Girl in Translation Cover

ISBN13: 9781594487569
ISBN10: 1594487561
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $6.95!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"A resolute yet nave Chinese girl confronts poverty and culture shock with equal zeal when she and her mother immigrate to Brooklyn in Kwok's affecting coming-of-age debut. Ah-Kim Chang, or Kimberly as she is known in the U.S., had been a promising student in Hong Kong when her father died. Now she and her mother are indebted to Kimberly's Aunt Paula, who funded their trip from Hong Kong, so they dutifully work for her in a Chinatown clothing factory where they earn barely enough to keep them alive. Despite this, and living in a condemned apartment that is without heat and full of roaches, Kimberly excels at school, perfects her English, and is eventually admitted to an elite, private high school. An obvious outsider, without money for new clothes or undergarments, she deals with added social pressures, only to be comforted by an understanding best friend, Annette, who lends her makeup and hands out American advice. A love interest at the factory leads to a surprising plot line, but it is the portrayal of Kimberly's relationship with her mother that makes this more than just another immigrant story." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Drawing on her own experiences as an immigrant from Hong Kong...Kwok adeptly captures the hardships of the immigrant experience and the strength of the human spirit to survive and even excel despite the odds." Library Journal

Synopsis:

A fresh, exciting Chinese-American voice makes an inspiring debut with this novel about an immigrant girl forced to choose between two worlds and two cultures. [R]eminiscent of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." Min Jin Lee (Free Food for Millionaires)

Synopsis:

A journey from Queens to Brooklyn to Seoul, and back, ?Re Jane is a fresh, contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre and a poignant Korean American debut

For Jane Re, half-Korean, half-American orphan, Flushing, Queens is the place shes been trying to escape from her whole life. A sardonic yet vulnerable college grad, Jane toils, unappreciated, in her strict uncles grocery store and politely observes, the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation). Desperate for a new life, shes thrilled to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops, and nineteenth century novels, Jane is the recipient of Beth Mazers lectures on feminism and Ed Farleys very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Jane and Eds blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York far behind.

Reconnecting with family, and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Jane begins to wonder if Ed Farley is really the man for her. Jane returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is. Re Jane is a bright, comic, and unforgettable story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for ones self.

Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of Girl in Translation, a novel about a young woman torn between her family duties in Chinatown and her escape into the world of ballroom dancing.

Twenty-two-year-old Charlie Wong grew up in New Yorks Chinatown, the older daughter of a Beijing ballerina and a noodle maker. Though an ABC (America-born Chinese), Charlies entire world has been limited to this small area. Now grown, she lives in the same tiny apartment with her widower father and her eleven-year-old sister, and works—miserably—as a dishwasher.

But when she lands a job as a receptionist at a ballroom dance studio, Charlie gains access to a world she hardly knew existed, and everything she once took to be certain turns upside down. Gradually, at the dance studio, awkward Charlies natural talents begin to emerge. With them, her perspective, expectations, and sense of self are transformed—something she must take great pains to hide from her father and his suspicion of all things Western. As Charlie blossoms, though, her sister becomes chronically ill. As Pa insists on treating his ailing child exclusively with Eastern practices to no avail, Charlie is forced to try to reconcile her two selves and her two worlds—Eastern and Western, old world and new—to rescue her little sister without sacrificing her newfound confidence and identity.

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About the Author

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

cmapdx, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by cmapdx)
A beautifully written story to remind us in today's age of technology and mobility that the playing field for students is not level. Children are hungry to learn. The community and teachers must reach out to really know each student in order to make a difference.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Cathy from Olympia, Washington, February 19, 2011 (view all comments by Cathy from Olympia, Washington)
I found I couldn't put the book down once I started... 11-year old Kimberley Chang immigrates with her mother to the United States from Hong Kong in hope of a better life. They find themselves working in an illegal sweatshop to pay back the debts for bringing them to the U.S. Kim is determined to earn a better life for both herself and her mother despite the debts... Apparently the novel is drawn, in part, from the author's childhood-- Kwok immigrated from Hong Kong to Brooklyn as a child, and her family worked in a sweatshop. There is some drug use and sex in the novel, but it is dealt with in a mature, unsensationalized manner. Recommended reading for high school and up.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Susan Pioli, January 3, 2011 (view all comments by Susan Pioli)
A wonderful book about intelligance and inner strength. You find yourself just rooting for the girl to make it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594487569
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Kwok, Jean
Author:
Wey, Grayce
Author:
Park, Patricia
Publisher:
Pamela Dorman Books
Subject:
Mothers and daughters
Subject:
Women immigrants
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Coming of age
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20150505
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
18-17

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Coming of Age

Girl in Translation Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Riverhead Hardcover - English 9781594487569 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A resolute yet nave Chinese girl confronts poverty and culture shock with equal zeal when she and her mother immigrate to Brooklyn in Kwok's affecting coming-of-age debut. Ah-Kim Chang, or Kimberly as she is known in the U.S., had been a promising student in Hong Kong when her father died. Now she and her mother are indebted to Kimberly's Aunt Paula, who funded their trip from Hong Kong, so they dutifully work for her in a Chinatown clothing factory where they earn barely enough to keep them alive. Despite this, and living in a condemned apartment that is without heat and full of roaches, Kimberly excels at school, perfects her English, and is eventually admitted to an elite, private high school. An obvious outsider, without money for new clothes or undergarments, she deals with added social pressures, only to be comforted by an understanding best friend, Annette, who lends her makeup and hands out American advice. A love interest at the factory leads to a surprising plot line, but it is the portrayal of Kimberly's relationship with her mother that makes this more than just another immigrant story." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Drawing on her own experiences as an immigrant from Hong Kong...Kwok adeptly captures the hardships of the immigrant experience and the strength of the human spirit to survive and even excel despite the odds."
"Synopsis" by , A fresh, exciting Chinese-American voice makes an inspiring debut with this novel about an immigrant girl forced to choose between two worlds and two cultures. [R]eminiscent of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." Min Jin Lee (Free Food for Millionaires)
"Synopsis" by ,
A journey from Queens to Brooklyn to Seoul, and back, ?Re Jane is a fresh, contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre and a poignant Korean American debut

For Jane Re, half-Korean, half-American orphan, Flushing, Queens is the place shes been trying to escape from her whole life. A sardonic yet vulnerable college grad, Jane toils, unappreciated, in her strict uncles grocery store and politely observes, the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation). Desperate for a new life, shes thrilled to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops, and nineteenth century novels, Jane is the recipient of Beth Mazers lectures on feminism and Ed Farleys very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Jane and Eds blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York far behind.

Reconnecting with family, and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Jane begins to wonder if Ed Farley is really the man for her. Jane returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is. Re Jane is a bright, comic, and unforgettable story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for ones self.

"Synopsis" by ,

From the bestselling author of Girl in Translation, a novel about a young woman torn between her family duties in Chinatown and her escape into the world of ballroom dancing.

Twenty-two-year-old Charlie Wong grew up in New Yorks Chinatown, the older daughter of a Beijing ballerina and a noodle maker. Though an ABC (America-born Chinese), Charlies entire world has been limited to this small area. Now grown, she lives in the same tiny apartment with her widower father and her eleven-year-old sister, and works—miserably—as a dishwasher.

But when she lands a job as a receptionist at a ballroom dance studio, Charlie gains access to a world she hardly knew existed, and everything she once took to be certain turns upside down. Gradually, at the dance studio, awkward Charlies natural talents begin to emerge. With them, her perspective, expectations, and sense of self are transformed—something she must take great pains to hide from her father and his suspicion of all things Western. As Charlie blossoms, though, her sister becomes chronically ill. As Pa insists on treating his ailing child exclusively with Eastern practices to no avail, Charlie is forced to try to reconcile her two selves and her two worlds—Eastern and Western, old world and new—to rescue her little sister without sacrificing her newfound confidence and identity.

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