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Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

Girl in Translation (edition 2011)

by Jean Kwok

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1,1601177,004 (3.96)87
Title:Girl in Translation
Authors:Jean Kwok
Info:Riverhead Trade (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:book club

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Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok


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English (115)  Dutch (3)  Finnish (1)  All languages (119)
Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
Kwok's voice is so strong, and Kimberly shines through so authentically. It's hard not to feel all her emotions--they're distilled and piercing. It seems clear that at least some embryo of Kimberly's experience must belong to Kwok, and that's why it all seems so powerful, but I'd hate to discount Kwok's obvious talent. The adult characters, most especially Kimberly's mother, are multilayered and so complex as to be difficult. This novel was excellent. ( )
  fefferbooks | May 12, 2014 |
I liked this book, but felt it was just OK overall. The main character had too many character conflicts to be truly believable. I good first novel, but needs more depth and believability. ( )
  bibliophileofalls | Mar 25, 2014 |
a great coming of a age story, makes you appreciate what you have and where you come from. easy read. ( )
  lloyd1175 | Mar 22, 2014 |
Jean Kwok took a "girl gets boy, girl loses boy" story and made it magical. It's been a while since I read book so eagerly and it feels really good. I particularly liked Ma, her character tweaked the story perfectly. ( )
  shesinplainview | Mar 20, 2014 |
What a book. This is the best thing I have read in a while. Beautiful, heartbreaking, eye opening. After her father's death and her mother's battle with tuberculosis they are forced to immigrate to the US with the help of Kim's Aunt Paula. Little did they know that the American dream was not only a dream but that their reality was so harsh when they are forced to repay their debt to Aunt Paula. The conditions of their lives will cause you to be intermittently angry and heartbroken, knowing the truth in the story. But Kim's character is so wonderfully captured that you are cheering with her in the end.

Truly a stunning book and a true look into the plight of the sweatshop worker. ( )
  mbklibrary | Aug 25, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
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.
Kwok adeptly captures the hardships of the immigrant experience and the strength of the human spirit to survive and even excel despite the odds.
added by khuggard | editLibrary Journal

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean Kwokprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wey, GrayceNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Erwin, Stefan and Milan, and to the memory of my brother Kwan S. Kwok
First words
I was born with a talent. Not for dance, nor comedy, nor anything so delightful. I've always had a knack for school. Everything that was taught there, I could learn: quickly and without too much effort. It was as if school were a vast machine and I a cog perfectly formed to fit in it. This is not to say that my education was always easy for me. When Ma and I moved to the U.S., I spoke only a few words of English and for a very long time, I struggled.
What Annette didn't understand was that silence could be a great protector. I couldn't afford to cry when there was no escape. Talking about my problems would only illuminate the lines of my unhappiness in the cold light of day, showing me, as well as her, the things I had been able to bear only because they had been half hidden in the shadows. I couldn't expose myself like that, not even for her.
Brains are beautiful.
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Book description
Ah-Kim Chang and her mother immigrate to Brooklyn, where they work for Kim's Aunt Paula in a Chinatown clothing factory earning barely enough to keep them alive; however, Kim's perseverance and hard work earns her a place at an elite private school where she is befriended by Annette, who helps her adjust to American culture.
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Emigrating with her mother from Hong Kong to Brooklyn, Kimberly Chang begins a secret double life as an exceptional schoolgirl during the day and sweatshop worker at night, an existence also marked by her first crush and the pressure to save her family from poverty.… (more)

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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