Jean Kwok's picture

Jean Kwok

Jean Kwok holds a BA in English and American Literature from Harvard University and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. She taught at the University of Leiden and is an alumnus of the Amsterdam Writing Workshops. Jean's debut novel, Girl in Translation, will be published in 2010 by Riverhead, an imprint of Penguin. Riverhead's authors include Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns) and Junot Diaz (Pulitzer Prize winner for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao). Jean's novel has already been sold in eight countries.

Genres: Young Adult Fiction

Jean Kwok recommends
Everything Here Is Beautiful (2018)
Mira T Lee
"This heart-wrenching, delicately drawn novel is filled with family love, passion, pain and forgiveness. Mira T. Lee spins a story spanning oceans that draws us ever closer to her characters' generous, flawed hearts. Powerful and unforgettable."
The Atlas of Reds and Blues (2019)
Devi S Laskar
"The Atlas of Reds and Blues is an unforgettable exploration of what it means to be a woman of color in contemporary America. Laskar describes the climate of lingering racism that surrounds her narrator and family in a wealthy suburb of Atlanta with a poet's touch. A searing, powerful, and beautifully written novel."
Mother Country (2019)
Irina Reyn
"Beautifully written, wise, poignant, tender and filled with humor, Irina Reyn's novel Mother Country about mothers and daughters captured my heart from the very first page. Despite the heartbreaking urgency of this timely story, Mother Country is infused with hope, originality and most of all, love. A gorgeous book."
Disappearing Earth (2019)
Julia Phillips
"Brilliant, spectacular—a wonderful book. Julia Phillips’s exquisite, detailed writing drew me in from the very first page of Disappearing Earth. I fell in love with each and every poignantly rendered character, even as I couldn’t keep my eyes off the central mystery of the two missing girls. The novel is both a riveting page-turner and a gorgeous exploration of love, one that circles around a magnetic core of loss. It has lodged itself deep in my heart."
The Resisters (2020)
Gish Jen
"Brilliant . . . A heartbreaking novel with the sensitivity, emotional range, and prophetic power of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid’s Tale."
The Jetsetters (2020)
Amanda Eyre Ward
"Heartwarming, funny, and poignant, The Jetsetters kept me up late turning the pages. . . . Compulsively readable."
The Library of Legends (2020)
Janie Chang
"Janie Chang's The Library of Legends is a delicious mix of history, myth and romance. Chang deftly intertwines Chinese folklore and historical detail to create a magical, heartfelt read."
Pretty Things (2020)
Janelle Brown
"I drank down Janelle Brown's Pretty Things in one greedy gulp, speeding through the pages even as the sharp, insightful writing made me feel compassion for each narrator. . . . Mesmerizing, provocative, surprising and thoughtful--a must-read."
Exile Music (2020)
Jennifer Steil
"Gorgeous and lyrical, Exile Music captures the delicate rhythm of one girl's coming of age while driven by war and exile. Heart-wrenching, tender and powerful."
A Good Marriage (2020)
Kimberly McCreight
"Filled with emotional urgency, sharp insights and profound revelations, Kimberly McCreight's newest novel is a marvel—both a compelling mystery and a discerning exploration of love and marriage."
With or Without You (2020)
Caroline Leavitt
"It was if I were falling in love: flushed, fascinated, filled with hope, fear and joy. Leavitt's exploration of the many ways in which we change over the course of a lifetime—and how we keep or lose those we love throughout these mutations—is compassionate, profound and moving. Beyond being utterly captivated, I felt like I had grown wiser and more humane after reading this beautiful novel."
Nights When Nothing Happened (2020)
Simon Han
"In his beautifully written debut novel, Simon Han takes a keen look at immigration, family and love. Insightful and poignant."
Half Life (2021)
Jillian Cantor
"Jillian Cantor's beautifully written Half Life is a poignant exploration of ambition, family, gender, and love. I couldn't put down this tender, nuanced, and inspiring novel. This is a book for anyone who's ever been torn by conflicting passions and loyalties; in other words, this is a book for all of us. A dazzling must-read."
The Last Exiles (2021)
Ann Shin
"Ann Shin's debut The Last Exiles is an exploration of the moral boundaries good people must navigate when their survival is at stake. This powerful tale of two lovers from North Korea who struggle to be reunited is a searing interrogation of the price of love and freedom. A thought-provoking, poignant and unflinching novel."
The Last Thing He Told Me (2021)
Laura Dave
"Laura Dave's The Last Thing He Told Me is a thrilling roller coaster of a novel. This smart, intimate exploration of love and family is the foundation of a beautifully constructed mystery filled with twists and turns. A must-read."
Swimming Back to Trout River (2021)
Linda Rui Feng
"Linda Rui Feng's Swimming Back to Trout River is a beautifully written, poignant exploration of family, art, culture, immigration and most of all, love. I was swept away by Feng's fierce intelligence and keen insight even as her characters captured my heart with their tender hopes and bold actions. A gorgeous book that I couldn't put down."
The Family Chao (2022)
Lan Samantha Chang
"Lan Samantha Chang's The Family Chao is a modern-day Brothers Karamazov, a gorgeous and gripping literary mystery that leads the reader into a hall of mirrors, reflecting with its kaleidoscopic vision themes like family, betrayal, passion, race, culture and the American Dream. Devastating and searing, laugh-out-loud funny and profound, Chang's latest novel is infused with beautiful, evocative writing that will quicken your heart and mind. A masterpiece."
Her Last Affair (2022)
John Searles
"Her Last Affair is filled with wry humor and compassion even as the novel sweeps the reader from charm and romance to the depths of dark suspense. I was captivated from the first page and watched with awe as Searles wove the three storylines into a single, heart-pounding climax. Devastating, and yet at the same time, utterly romantic."
More Than You'll Ever Know (2022)
Katie Gutierrez
"With beautifully written prose and razor-sharp insight, Katie Gutierrez draws us into More Than You'll Ever Know's gripping and complex world. Even as the dual storylines left me breathless, I found myself more captivated by Gutierrez's intimate and compassionate portrayal of these women, their men, and the many secrets they kept. Passionate, supremely intelligent, and thrilling."

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