Synopses & Reviews
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 worksmiserablyas 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 transformedsomething 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 worldsEastern and Western, old world and newto rescue her little sister without sacrificing her newfound confidence and identity.
"This audiobook is the perfect match of narrator and material. Grayce Wey's performance as immigrant Kimberly Chang feels absolutely authentic. As the adult Kimberly looking back at her life, Wey has just a touch of a Chinese accent (appropriate for a character who's lived in America for two decades), and her tone conveys bittersweet regret even while knowing she made the right choice. But when speaking as the younger, newly arrived Kimberly, Wey's Chinese accent is much heavier, and we can hear Kimberly's confusion, anxiety, and struggle to adjust to this new culture. Wey perfectly evokes Kimberly's growing assertiveness and determination, her teenage longing, joy, and pain when falling in love for the first time, and her conflicted feelings when making difficult decisions about her path in life. A moving and memorable listen. A Riverhead hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 15). (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Praise for Girl in Translation
"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
"Part fairy tale, part autobiography . . . what puts this debut novel toward the top of the pile is its buoyant voice and its slightly subversive ending that suggests 'happily ever after' may have more to do with love of self and of family than with any old Prince Charming."—O, The Oprah Magazine
"Dazzling fiction debut."—Marie Claire
"A charming fable."—USA Today
“A riveting story . . . [one of] the seasons hottest page-turners.”—Real Simple
"Western convention clashes with traditional Eastern culture when a young, impoverished Chinese-American woman dips her toe into the glittering world of professional ballroom dancing—and finds love."—Woman's Day
“In her winning second novel (after Girl in Translation, 2010), Kwok infuses her heartwarming story with both the sensuality of dance and the optimism of a young woman coming into her own.”—Booklist
"Charlies Cinderella story, not to mention Charlie herself, is charming."—Kirkus
Unabridged CDs, 8 CDs, 10 hours
Read by TBA
Introducing a fresh, exciting Chinese-American voice, Girl in Translation is an inspiring debut about a young immigrant in America, a smart girl who, living a double life between school and sweatshop, understands that her family's future is in her hands.
A fresh, exciting Chinese-American voice makes an inspiring debut with this novel about an young immigrant in America who, living a double life between school and sweatshop, understands that her family's future is in her hands.
About the Author
Jean Kwok was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Brooklyn as a young girl. She is the author of the national bestseller Girl in Translation and Mambo in Chinatown. 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.