FemdogloversWWBclub “Beautiful Country” by Qian Julie Wang& U Dog
March 22 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT
Female doglovers (no prejuduce to our fab male doglovers as wingwomen’s an all female group) & their dogs are invited to join my wingwomen (WW) bookclub. We’re having another fun & fascinating WW bookclub on Wednesday, March 22 at 7pm. We’ll meet to discuss the critically acclaimed (NewYorkTimes NotableBook;OneOf The BestBooksOf TheYear),fascinating, intimate, important, moving, harrowing, exquisitely written memoir “Beautiful Country” by Qian Julie Wang.
The moving story of an undocumented child living in poverty in the richest country in the world—an incandescent debut from an astonishing new talent. 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’s overwhelmed by crushing fear & scarcity. In China, Qian’s parents were professors; in America, her family’s “illegal” & it’ll require all the determination & small joys they can muster to survive. In Chinatown, Qian’s parents labor in sweatshops. Instead of laughing at her jokes, they fight constantly, taking out the stress of their new life on one another. Shunned by her classmates & teachers for her limited English, Qian takes refuge in the library & masters the language through books, coming to think of The Berenstain Bears as her first American friends. And where there’s delight to be found, Qian relishes it: her first bite of gloriously greasy pizza, weekly “shopping days,” when Qian finds small treasures in the trash lining Brooklyn’s streets, & a magical Christmas visit to Rockefeller Center—confirmation that the New York City she saw in movies does exist after all. But then Qian’s headstrong Ma Ma collapses, revealing an illness that she has kept secret for months for fear of the cost & scrutiny of a doctor’s visit. As Ba Ba retreats further inward, Qian has little to hold onto beyond his constant refrain: Whatever happens, say that you were born here, that you’ve always lived here. Inhabiting her childhood perspective with exquisite lyric clarity & unforgettable charm & strength, Qian Julie Wang has penned an essential American story about a family fracturing under the weight of invisibility, & a girl coming of age in the shadows, who never stops seeking the light.
We’ll discuss this book & have a fabulous time, be stimulated, enjoy wonderful company, friendship & bond-all in one evening! Hope to see you on March 22 & also if we’re all fortunate at prior bookclubs.
“For fans of Angela’s Ashes & The Glass Castle.”Newsday
“[An] exquisitely crafted memoir.”OprahDaily
“A heartbreaking & intimate memoir… the storytelling from a young Qian’s perspective is riveting.”Politico
“This unforgettable memoir is eye-opening to the nth degree.”RealSimple
“Elegantly affecting.”The Guardian
“A potent testament to the love, curiosity, grit, & hope of a courageous & resourceful immigrant child. Engaging readers through all five senses & the heart, Wang’s debut memoir is a critical addition to the literature on immigration as well as the timeless category of childhood memoir.” KirkusReviews
“Extraordinary… With immense skill, Wang parses how her family’s illegal status blighted nearly every aspect of their life . . .While Wang’s story of pursuing the American dream is undoubtedly timeless, it’s her family’s triumph in the face of “xenophobia & intolerance” that makes it feel especially relevant today. Consider this remarkable memoir a new classic.” PublishersWeekly
“The writing is sparse, stylish, sometimes harrowing and sometimes humorous as she narrates experiences that are incredibly common but rarely captured with this level of artful control. It’s shaping up to be one of the best memoirs of the year.” Bookpage
“[A] powerful debut. . . [Wang] movingly tells how undocumented families like hers are often overlooked and their experiences ignored. A haunting memoir of people and places that will stay with readers long after the last page.”LibraryJournal