In Chinese, the word for America, Mei Guo, translates directly to “beautiful country.” Yet when seven-year-old Qian arrives in New York City in 1994 full of curiosity, she is overwhelmed by crushing fear and scarcity. In China, Qian’s parents were professors; in America, her family is “illegal” and it will require all the determination and small joys they can muster to survive.
Editors’ Choice, The New York Times Book Review “The immigrant child longs to be understood and unload her truths, while simultaneously being tasked with preserving her parents’ humanity. . . Qu. . . honor[s] these complexities.” —Chanel Miller, The New York Times Book Review A young girl forced to work in a Queens sweatshop calls child services on her mother in this powerful debut memoir about labor and self-worth that traces a Chinese immigrant's journey to an American future.
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