Girl In Translation Author:Jean Kwok 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 eve... more »nings. 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.« less
I absolutely loved this book. Beautifully written debut effort. The immigrant story and Kimberly's journey resonated with me on so many levels. My father, too, worked in a factory as a child. We, too, lived in poverty in NYC in cold water flats barely scraping by. I, too, excelled in school and was offered a full scholarship to a prestigious preparatory school. But, unlike Kimberly, I didn't grab the opportunity. I admired Kimberly's persistance and dedication as she struggles to carve a new life for herself and her mother through her hard work and study. I cheered for her, cried for her and will never forget her story. I look forward to Ms. Kwok's next effort with anticipation. Very highly recommended!
Loved, loved, loved this book! As an avid reader, I had a feeling that this book would turn out the way it did, except it managed to exceed my expectations! It is a beautiful story, filled with so many emotions and life lessons. I have learned that no matter what cards you have been dealt, nothing is off limits when have the determination to succeed. I highly recommend this book - you will not be disappointed!
Jean Kwok has written a captivating novel about an 11-year old girl, Kim, and her widowed mother who immigrate from China to the United States. They are sponsored by her Aunt Paula, whose demands upon the two define the meaning of "pound of flesh." Through Aunt Paula's "generosity," they live in an apartment in a soon-to-be-condemned building in Brooklyn, and Kim's mother works in a sweatshop owned by Aunt Paula and Uncle Bob for meager wages, out of which she repays Aunt Paula (with interest) the debts they owe to her. Kim's stellar academic performance eventually provides a way out of their poverty-stricken life.
I really liked the premise of this book. I found myself wondering how many Americans would have the courage and resolve to survive if transported to China under similar conditions. The conclusion is both affirming and heart-rending.