Jean Kwok

Jean Kwok immigrated from Hong Kong to Brooklyn when she was five and worked in a Chinatown clothing factory for much of her childhood. She 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.

Her debut novel Girl in Translation (Riverhead, 2010) 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 MonthDoubleday and Literary Guild. Jean lives in the Netherlands with her husband and two sons.


12 Tips on Individuality From Award-Winning Novelist Jean Kwok

For BlogHer's monthly series of 12 tips to help you Own Your Beauty, novelist Jean Kwok takes on this month's theme: Individuality. ...more
Great list! Even if you only follow suggestion #1, and speak to yourself as if you were your own ...more

Missing Mother

I’m going to miss Mother’s Day with my kids again this May, for the second year in a row. Both times the reason is that I need to be on national tour for my debut novel, Girl in Translation: last year for its publication and this year for the paperback release. My boys are seven and four years old, still young enough to love their mommy without reservation or judgment. When they miss me, they miss me with all their little hearts. ...more

These are such wonderful comments. Love hearing about everyone's moms.

xo Jean

Author ...more

My Brother Broke My Heart by Jean Kwok

Let me tell you about the worst thing that has ever happened to me. As the youngest of seven children, I used to lie in bed and worry about the rest of my family all dying before me. My only consolation was my older brother Kwan, who was the closest to me in age. We would go through it together, until the bitter end, and in my over-imaginative mind, I thought that saying good-bye to him would be the worst of all. Then, in November 2009, Kwan disappeared a few days before Thanksgiving weekend. ...more
Jean,  I'm truly so very sorry to hear about your loss.  I last saw Kwan in August where he had ...more