12 Tips on Individuality From Award-Winning Novelist Jean Kwok
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Jean Kwok promised herself a long time ago never to let fear stop her from doing what she really wanted. This has led to a life full of adventure (and some truly scary moments.) Like the protagonist in her debut novel Girl in Translation, Jean immigrated to Brooklyn when she was five and worked in a Chinatown clothing factory for much of her childhood. After entering public elementary school unable to speak a word of English, she later won early admission to Harvard, where she worked as many as four jobs at a time, and graduated with honors in English and American literature, before going on to earn an MFA in fiction at Columbia. She worked as a professional ballroom dancer for three years in between her degrees, fell in love with a Dutch man and moved to Holland.
Girl in Translation became a New York Times bestseller. It has been published in 15 countries and chosen as the winner of an American Library Association Alex Award, a John Gardner Fiction Book Award finalist, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick, an Orange New Writers title, an Indie Next Pick, a Quality Paperback Book Club New Voices Award nominee and the winner of Best Cultural Book in Book Bloggers Appreciation Week 2010. It was featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others. The novel was a Blue Ribbon Pick for numerous book clubs, including Book of the Month, Doubleday and Literary Guild.
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