I just read «GIRL IN TRANSLATION» by Jean Kwok.
Reading this book, I have gotten acquainted with Kimberly Chang, her life history and her family values.
Kimberly Chang is the main character. She and her mother emigrated from Hong Kong to a Brooklyn squalor in America.
After their arrival, they were forced to work at a factory owned by their relatives. They worked very hard. Besides that, Kimberly went to school. It was difficult to study in the school because Kimberly’s had other taxing requirements outside of school. In her school in China, she was the best, including in math. But there she didn’t know English well and the teacher didn’t help her.
Nonetheless, the young immigrant in America, the smart girl, successfully finished school and entered a prestigious college without money. She attended Yale for free.
While Kimberly Chang was attending college, she began a secret double life: exemplary schoolgirl by day, Chinatown sweatshop worker by night.
In the factory Kimberly found the love of her life. But her factory boy shared none of her talent or ambition. As a result she gave birth to his child, but didn’t tell him about their child. He thought that she had an abortion and he was married to another women. Kimberly went her own way and she has become a good pediatric surgeon. Years later, she met her ex-boyfriend, but she didn’t admit that they have a child together. Their lives were very different…
The book paid little attention to Chinese culture and on the education of girls in the family.
Why is title of book «GIRL IN TRANSLATION»? It is a simple question. Because »Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself, back and forth, between the worlds she straddles».
I didn’t really like the translation of the book into Russian, but I think that «MAMBO IN CHINATOWN» by Jean Kwok I would have read it.
P.S. После выхода книги в США Джин Квок отправилась в тур по стране, давая интервью и устраивая встречи с читателями в книжных магазинах. О своих впечатлениях после тура Квок поделилась в своем блоге.