Why do so many Asian Americans get admitted into elite universities? Well, if Jean Kwok’s debut novel “Girl in Translation” is any indication, a micro-managing mother is not necessary. Kwok’s story draws upon her own experience, as a child who immigrates with her family from Hong Kong — only to live in a run-down Brooklyn apartment and to spend her after-school hours working in a sweatshop. With her deft translation of Chinese phrases and English phoneticization, Kwok makes Kimberly Chang’s world seem so real I have to remind myself that it is fiction.
I’m reviewing “Girl in Translation” as part of the BlogHer book club. Read my full review on the BlogHer Book Club.
You can also check out Jean Kwok’s excellent essays about the heartbreak of losing her older brother and the sadness of being without her mother — and her children — on Mother’s Day.
Have you read “Girl in Translation”? Do you plan to?