The Author

Jean Kwok
Photo by Chris Macke
Jean Kwok 

Jean Kwok is the New York Times and international bestselling author of the award-winning novel Girl in Translation (2010). Jean immigrated from Hong Kong to Brooklyn when she was five and worked in a Chinatown clothing factory for much of her childhood while living in an unheated, roach-infested apartment. In between her undergraduate degree at Harvard and MFA in fiction at Columbia, she worked for three years as a professional ballroom dancer. Jean lives in the Netherlands with her husband, two boys and four cats, and has just finished a new novel. A television documentary was filmed about Jean and her work.

Her work has been published in 18 countries and taught in universities, colleges and high schools across the world. She has been selected for numerous honors including the American Library Association Alex Award, the Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award and the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award international shortlist. Jean’s writing has been featured in Time, The New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek and Vogue, among others. She has spoken at many schools and venues including Harvard University, Columbia University and the Tucson Festival of Books.

Ms. Kwok’s second book is Mambo in Chinatown (2014, Riverhead). She has also published short stories, poetry, and essays.




Q&A With Author Jean Kwok: Girl in Translation

 Interview with 'Girl in Translation' Author Jean Kwok by Abigail Licad

 Complete text and more about her personal story can be found at:








Girl in Translation is available in accessible formats. Please contact the High Tech Center of Services to Students with Disabilities (SSWD) at 916-278-7915. Please note that SSWD is only able to give access to alternative media for the One Book under certain conditions. Students must be registered with SSWD and be approved for alternative media accommodations at the High Tech Center. The student will need to provide proof of purchase. For more information, please contact SSWD at or (916) 278-6955 or (916) 278-7239 (TTY) for assistance.

The One Book is also available through the University Library. You may also purchase the book at the Hornet Bookstore and through major booksellers.