HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Girl in Translation

by Jean Kwok

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,0041666,751 (3.93)111
Caught between the pressure to succeed in America, her duty to their family, and her own personal desires, Kimberly Chang, an immigrant girl from Hong Kong, learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.
  1. 10
    The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  2. 00
    Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín (jayne_charles)
  3. 00
    The Cooked Seed: A Memoir by Anchee Min (DetailMuse)
  4. 00
    Shanghai Girls by Lisa See (terran)
    terran: Chinese Americans, Mother and daughters, Family, Poverty, Immigrants
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 111 mentions

English (162)  Dutch (3)  Finnish (1)  All languages (166)
Showing 1-5 of 162 (next | show all)
Caught between the pressure to succeed in America, her duty to their family, and her own personal desires, Kimberly Chang, an immigrant girl from Hong Kong, learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.

I was really drawn into this story of Kimberly’s life. She and her mother lived in a condemned building and worked long hours at a factory for low pay while Kimberly worked hard at school. She had so many struggles and difficulties with school work and kids at school. She and her mother also had to work hard at the factory run by her sister Paula who they were in debt to. Then there was a romance with Matt, a boy at the factory, which also had it’s difficulties. There lives were so tenuous that anything that went wrong could result in dire consequences for their lives. I really enjoyed the story and will look for more by this author. ( )
  gaylebutz | Apr 4, 2022 |



Being a Chinese-American who knows what it's like to be on the outside looking in, I bonded immediately with Kimberly, the titular character. I cheered for her. I wept for her. I laughed with her.

Jean Kwok weaves a wonderful story and I do wonder how much of this is based on her true life.

And I also wondering ... what happened to Annette? ( )
  wellington299 | Feb 19, 2022 |
This is a well written, very believable story for a aimed at a young adult audience, which is also enjoyable for grown ups. The only thing I did not find believable was the main character, Kimberly Chang. She is a model daughter, student, and despite some major mistakes everything ends up being just right.
It is clear that the author knows intimately what life is like for immigrants (Chinese in this case, but it could be any ethnic background). I highly recommend this book ( )
  Marietje.Halbertsma | Jan 9, 2022 |
4.5 stars. Compelling story about Chinese immigrants (mother and daughter), where the mother works in a Chinatown textile sweatshop paid per piece where the daughter excels in school after having to learn English, earning a full merit scholarship to a prestigious prep school. What impressed me most was Kwok's ability to describe the social isolation experienced by the intellectually gifted. Highly recommended. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Adult fiction. Coming-of-age/immigrant story loosely based on author's own background. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 162 (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
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kwok, Jeanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dekker, Jeannetsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wey, GrayceNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

Blackbirds (2013)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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.
In those days, I wanted to believe our love was something tangible and permanent, like a good luck charm I could always wear around my neck. Now I know it was more like the wisp of smoke trailing off a stick of incense: most of what I could hold onto was the memory of the burning, the aftermath if its scent.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Caught between the pressure to succeed in America, her duty to their family, and her own personal desires, Kimberly Chang, an immigrant girl from Hong Kong, learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.

No library descriptions found.

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.
Haiku summary

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Jean Kwok's book Girl in Translation was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

LibraryThing Author

Jean Kwok is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.93)
0.5
1 2
1.5 2
2 22
2.5 1
3 129
3.5 48
4 260
4.5 43
5 141

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 173,872,983 books! | Top bar: Always visible