Girl in Translation

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Penguin, Apr 29, 2010 - Fiction - 320 pages
101 Reviews
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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - micahmom2002 - LibraryThing

i thought this was a memior the whole time I was reading it, and was surprised to find it was a novel. The whole time reading the author makes you feel that she has really lived through these ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

A semi-autobiographical novel of a young girl’s journey from Hong Kong to New York with her mother, and their pursuit of the American dream. Eleven-year-old Ah-Kim Chang and her mother arrive in ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

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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